By: Tom Fergusonv
In our usually disorganized manor Sue Wyman, Vic Henney, Don Weis, Terry Rivera, and I planned a trip to Anza-Borrego State Park. We were to meet Sat. at Aqua Caliente Hot Springs. Three people arrived at noon believing they were late and that the others must have already left. Terry and I showed up forty five minutes later.
A message had been left at the store so we proceeded down Bow Willow Canyon Road after our friends. We soon found it was impossible to drive beyond the campground without a 4WD, which the others had.
Seeing as the other group had both the topo maps and the DPS write-ups we doubted our chances of success, but checking the state park road map we found it showed both the peak and a dirt road (Indian Canyon South Fork) which went very close to the peak. Ignoring a "4WD road" sign we had little trouble getting a normal car to the road end, which has rather limited parking.
The peak isn't visible from this point, so relying on the memory of views from the main road (s2) and our road map we headed up the canyon south-west of the roads end. This we followed, scrambling over some second class rock and third class "cat's claw" until we reached the shallow pass north-west of point 3108. From here we contoured up the south side of the eastern ridge, gaining the ridge perhaps 300 feet below the summit.
We were surprised to find the other group still working their way up the Bow Willow route on the southern ridge despite an hour and a half head start. The register is located in a crack in the summit rocks, not a cairn, and is getting quite rusty. When we were all reunited on the summit it was decided to meet at Bow Willow Campground far dinner.
Discussing the routes at a warm fire, over an excellent dinner of quesadias, wine, and Thanksgiving cupcakes with plastic turkeys on top it was decided that the Indian Canyon route was a nicer hike and a much nicer drive. Bow Willow Campground isn't "anything to write home about" having only two picnic tables for all of the campsites, a rather messy "seasonal ranger station", and a $3.00 a night fee.
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