Another beautiful day in Anza Borrego so another day to go on a long hike. We choose Wilson Trail, a “moderate” hike we have had our eye on for several years but there just never seemed to be enough time.
Wilson Trail follows Pinyon Ridge for about 4.5 miles which makes it a 9 mile round-trip hike. The trail head begins off the south side of S22 (Montezuma Valley Rd) in the western most part of Anza Borrego State Park. And when I say “western most part” I mean it.
As you head west on S22 out of Borrego Springs you climb S22 up to mile marker 6.9 and turn south (left) onto Jasper Ridge Jeep Road. A 4WD is recommended for this road. As you first turnoff you will see a sign notifying you that you are in mountain lion country so be prepared!
You drive about 1.4 miles before entering an off-road “round-about”. From there you take a sharp left (or go around the road about and take the third right) onto Culp Valley Jeep Road and drive 1 mile to the Wilson Trail parking area.
A nice little sign alerts you to the fact that you are at Wilson Trail. At this point you are just over 4,000 feet in elevation. A nice change from the low shrub desert with different vegation and big boulders. Simply follow the trail for 4 miles going up and down over saddles along the ridge. It has slow rises and slow descents but for the most part you are climbing up through boulder country.
After 4 miles you reach a metal stake which signifies you have made it “almost” to the viewpoint. The trail kind of disappears at this point and it is mostly just climbing boulders to find the best viewpoint. You should be able to follow the rocks for another half mile around the point for the fabulous views of the surrounding Borrego Valley to the east and a glimpse of Palomar Observatory to the northwest.
After a nice break for lunch/water/rest/whatever it is time to turnaround and head back the same way you came. The hike back is much easier since it is, for the most part, downhill. Yes, you will be going up and down but the general direction is down.
The sun was getting low in the sky since this is the winter soltice and we have such short days. Time to scurry along to get out of here before sunset. A wonderful hike and a beautiful area.