Anza-Borrego Desert: Smuggler canyon loop
||7.1 Mile - 3 hour, 30 minutes (Loop), Moderate (Lots of small rocks).
||1500 - 2800 feet
||All cars, park roadside in the second dip, east of Vallecito Stage Station County Park.
This hike takes you into two forks of Smuggler canyon.
Start the hike in a well defined small wash, heading North/East.
After a while the wash vanishes, at that point keep on heading in the same direction, until you reach a fence.
Find a spot to cross the fence and keep on going in the same direction.
The terrain is prime cactus territory, so be careful.
Shortly thereafter reaching the wide main wash, follow it up, by keeping in the left fork.
At point "Fork", continue into the canyon as long as you like. I hiked up to a rather steep drop, do not overestimate yourself and come back safely.
Remember to look back occasionally, to check if you can hike back down again. Going up may be easier than hiking down safely.
A point "Leave" head up to point "Wash", this is a short and easy cross country hike up to a well defined small wash.
Follow this sometimes rocky wash down to point "Leave 2".
Again a short cross country hike up to a fork heading South/East.
Eventually cross the highway and as soon as the fence ends follow the trail along the fence and head back towards the car.
This route will be difficult to follow without a GPS.
Note: No sane person would take this part of the route for smuggling, there are definitely easier routes to be found.
Warning: Prepare to encounter many cacti, so bring your removal kit.
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