Vallecito Mountains


By: Wes Shelberg


Peak 3407 (Harper Canyon Quadrangle, 7.5 Min.) is the high point in the eastern part of the Vallecito Mountains in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. A solo climb in Winter 1973 revealed a rugged topography the austerity of which was a blessing. Directions follow.

Take the Split Mountain Road south from Ocotillo Wells to the Fish Creek Road in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. These are shown on the AAA San Diego County Road Map. Follow Fish Creek Road, which goes through Split Mountain, for 8.2 miles to the route-head which is simply a spot at the side of the road. Fish Creek Road can be good or bad depending upon recent weather and the extent of recent use. At times it can be very sandy in Fish Creek Wash, but passenger cars negotiate the portion pertinent to these directions when winter use has established good tire tracks. Road status can be checked by telephoning Park Rangers.

The route-head and the route taken are drawn on the following Maps #1 and #2. These respectively reproduce a section of the Arroyo Tapiado Quad. (7.5 Min.) and the Harper Canyon Quad. (7.5 Min.). These reproductions may be aligned by matching the 11610' and 116 l2' 30" marks. Consult the complete topo sheets for a complete overview.

It is critical to remain oriented in this complicated terrain in order to return to the vehicle without searching for it. The desert encompassing Anza-Borrego is unforgiving to those who become seriously lost and out of water in hot weather.

The one-way distance from vehicle to Peak 3407 measures 5.5 miles. Class 2 conditions prevail. The elevation gain is 2600 ft.

An 11 mile traverse of the eastern Vallecito Mountains is possible using an 11.3 mile car shuttle. The write-up "VALLECITO MOUNTAINS PEAK 3392" presents a section of the Harper Canyon Quad. which shows an easy traverse from Peak 3407 to Peak 3392, and two possible routes for descending Peak 3392 to a vehicle that can be located (as detailed in the write-up) at or near the east edge of the quadrangle in the Elephant Tree Area.

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