Jacumba Mountain, Sombrero Peak


By: Maris Valkass


Twenty-five participants met at the Imperial Hwy Monument on Hwy S2 just south of the Anza Borrego State Park. We caravaned in on Mortero Canyon road, 1/2 mi north of the meeting place. You follow the road to the FRR tracks, then go left about 1/2 mi, where you see a crossing going across the track. Turn right and go to the next fork, and stay to the left. Continue till you reach Dos Cabezas Spring. This is one of the trailheads for Jacumba, and also was our campsite. From the spring we ascended directly in southwest direction, trying to pick the easiest route. On the first part there are a lot of large boulders which require considerable route finding. After you reach the flat area, anything goes. If the group likes rocks, this is a great way. Everyone except two, reached the summit. This hike was a practice for Cinco de Mayo celebration, so everyone was requested to participate in a Mexican costume. Ron and I were the only ones in a costume, one or two others had some Mexican clothing, the rest were plain dull. We reached the summit at about noon, ate lunch, enjoyed the scenery, which was super, and descended a canyon leading to Mortero Palms. Last time when I climbed the peak, I missed the palms. I am glad that this time we found them. There are about fifty or so trees in this very rocky (boulders) canyon, it was a marvelous place.

We were back to the cars by four pm, and started to prepare for the fiesta. While we failed in the costume department, we made it up in the food department. We also had plenty of Mexican music, although Ron failed to get the mariachi band and the girls from Tijuana. I guess that the truck made a wrong turn in one of the desert arroyos. Mary McMannes also fell flat on her "you know what", she was to run the dance contest but was more occupied with eating and forgot. Seems that all night long we had people coming in. Joe G3oss and Jim Raiford showed up first, then came Sue Wyman and Vic Henney, finally Karen Leonard and Jim Farkas. In the morning, the Fletchers, from Lodi, CA walked in our camp. Seems they made the wrong turn and got stuck in sand. Jacumba was the first DPS hike for several persons. Janet Coles, (yes, Alan tied the knot) came all the way from Malaysia to do it. Alta Stauffer heard about my trip in southern Africa and could not resist. Stephanie Accornero saw it in the local paper and decided to try us.

After partying all night we drove to Indian Gorge road, and followed the South Fork to the roadhead for Sombrero. The ascent is very simple, follow the canyon almost to the ridge facing you, and then turn left proceeding to the summit. Another beautiful day and superb view. The location of the register is hard to find. It is not on the highest point, it is north of it next to the large boulders. On our way back we stopped at some pictographs that Ed Lubin, Art Blauvelt, Donn Cook, and I discovered five years ago. We were back to our cars by three pm.

The participants were:

Leora Stoler
Bob Hethmon
Alta Stauffer
Judy Ware
Bill Gray
Roy Bishop
Dick Agnos
Jack Koshear
Jim Farkas
Joe Goss
J Holshuh
Marta Hethmon
Bill Stauffer
Claire Beekman
George Toby
Stephanie Accornero
Alan Coles
Mary McMannes
Elton Fletcher
Jim Raiford
Susan Hanna
Grahm Breakwell
John Rhodehamel
Keats Hayden
Tom Neely
Fred Smith
Janet Coles
Karen Leonard
Mrs. Fletcher
Ron Jones

My thanks to the assistant and all participants for making this a wonderful weekend.

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