Anza-Borrego Desert: Whale Peak North
||5.2 mile - 3 hour, 15 minutes ("Park 1" or "Park 2") or 10 mile - 5 hour, 30 minutes from point "Park 3" (return). Easy/Moderate.
||3980 - 5349 feet
||On Hwy 2 close to mile 21, high clearance 4x4 recommended.
This is the shortest and easiest way to climb Whale Peak.
If can you make it to the trail head, "Park 1" or "Park 2" by car that is.
"Park 1" the most obvious and best marked trail.
"Park 2" a slightly shorter route but less marked if at all and slightly more difficult.
"Park 3" most cars will be able to get up to this point.
Head East at the sign Pinyon mountain valley. Follow this dirt road in a high clearance 4x4 to one of the trail heads, or as far as you can make it.
A good variation is Park at the turn-off to "Park 1" and hike up to "Park 1", on the way back hike to "Park 2" and head back along the road.
The archive of our early attempt to hike up Whale Peak can be found here.
How to get here:
On Hwy 2 after mile 21 and directly after the Anza Borrego Park sign (from the direction of Borrego Springs) head left on a dirt road.
Turn right into Pinyon Mountain Valley.
The road may be sandy up to point "Park 3", 4x4 High clearance recommended.
Before 2014 at point "Park 3" the road was blocked by boulders. From 2014 on the road is a lot better, so you may be able to drive further.
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