Anza-Borrego Desert: Camel Head Wash East loop
A scenic easy loop wash hike starting in Camel Head Wash and heading up East Mesa.
|8 mile - 3 hour 35 minutes,(loop), Easy.
|700 - 890 feet
|High clearance 4x4 only, see below.
Once on the East Mesa follow a small wash down. This wash is the divide between badlands on the left (north) and an area more alive to the south.
The wash and all the drainages are easy to find as they are filled with Big galetta, Hilaria rigida a grass that looks dead most of the year.
This wash is a fork of the Deguynos wash and will eventually enter the Carrizo Impact Area. (Less than 1 hour further)
As the wash deepens and makes a sharp turn and heads South, leave it at point "fork".
The new wash heads West follow the main drainage and after it faints, aim more or less for the Whale peak
At point "Down", leave the mesa and head down a rocky wash (Moderate), after a short while the nice sandy wash reappears.
This is a GPS only hike as it's very easy to get lost, or wander into the unmarked Carrizo Impact Area.
How to get here:
Take Split Mountain Road for about 8 miles.
Follow the road towards the Fish Creek campground.
Where the road starts is mostly in the middle of the wash. But in other years at the right hand side of the wash as in 2013.
Road condition vary a lot from year to year.
The road is sandy with some rocks.
As soon as you see the wind cave sign on the left side of the wash (after 5 miles), keep in the same wash, by keeping a bit to the left.
Don't go into the first North fork, but keep left.
The wash you are entering should be signed as South Fork.
Now drive for about 3 mile, up to the unmarked Camel Head Wash.
The Carrizo Impact Area has been in use until 1959. it is an closed off of area with unexploded ordnance. Sometimes buried deep in the sand.
The hike is well outside the impact area.
Make sure you don't head much further South/East in the wash and stay inside San Diego county.
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