Vallecito Mountains


By: Wes Shelberg


Peak 3392 (Harper Canyon Quadrangle, 7.5 Mm.) is one of the two high spots in the eastern part of the Vallecito Mountains in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. A solo climb in Winter 1973 was particularly interesting because it featured elephant trees on a bajada and in the rugged ascent canyon. Directions follow.

Take the Split Mountain Road south from Ocotillo Wells for 5.7 miles, turn west on the road to the Elephant Tree Area, and drive as far as possible. The spur road to the Elephant Tree Area is shown on the AAA San Diego County Road Map, is only about a mile long, and might be 4-WD quality for the last few tenths of a mile. You will be parking exactly on or very close to the eastern edge of the Harper Canyon Quad. Hills about 600 ft. high exist to the south of the spur road, but these stop a few feet east of the Harper Canyon Quad.

The route-head and the route taken are shown on the accompanying map which reproduces the pertinent section of the Harper Canyon Quad. Consult the full topo sheet for a complete overview.

The one-way distance from vehicle to Peak 3392 measures 4.5 miles. Class 2 prevails. The elevation gain is 3000 ft.

An 11 mile traverse of the eastern Vallecito Mountains is possible using an 11.3 mile car shuttle. Inspection of the accompanying map shows an easy traverse from Peak 3392 to Peak 3407. The write-up "VALLECITO MOUNTAINS PEAK 3407" shows the route for descending Peak 3407 to a vehicle located (as described in the write-up) on the Fish Creek Road. One should be sure that he can find the vehicle without difficulty before descending Peak 3407 toward Fish Creek Wash.

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