Jeep Roads in Anza Borrego

Borrego Springs, CA

We’ve continued to enjoy nice weather and fun activities during our second week here in the desert of southern California.  One afternoon we joined Dave, Sue, and Lewis for a visit to an interesting rock formation west of here near the town of Warner Springs.

Lewis served as our navigator

To get to the rock formation we took San Diego county road S22 west up steeply through the Montezuma  Grade to CA Rt. 89.  There we turned north to the small town of Warner Springs.  There is a three mile long trail leading from Rte. 89 to the rock formation.  But we learned from a post in Al and Kelly’s blog (Travel With The Bayfield Bunch) that the first right turn in Warner Springs on to Camino San Ignacio Road leads to a pull off where it’s just a short walk to the formation.  But there was one little obstacle to get there, a fence with a large gate.

A former gymnast who competed on the pommel horse climbs the gate

But we quickly made it up, over, or around the obstacle and headed out to the rock formation.

Lewis continues to navigate

The rock formation is called Eagle Rock.  We’re not sure where the name came from but some people apparently see the image of a bird in the rocks.

Lewis indicated that he didn’t see the resemblance.

On the drive back we took a detour to visit the little town of Santa Ysabel and their most famous business, the Julian Pie Company.  If you are in the San Diego area for any length of time, you will probably come in contact with one of these tasty desserts.  Be careful, they are addicting!

The next day friends Jodi and Bill (On the Road Abode) drove over from where they were staying in Thermal, CA for a visit.  After sitting at our site for a bit to get “re-acquainted” (we hadn’t seen them in a year) the six of us (remember, Dave and Sue are here, too) drove a short distance to Keslings Kitchen, a new restaurant in town, for lunch before heading out into the desert for some exploring.  Our first stop was at Fonts Point, a 14 mile drive to the east of Borrego Springs.

Jeep parking at Fonts Point

Fonts Point is a high area with great views of some badlands directly to the east and mountains to the west and north.

Sue and Jodie laugh it up while Tessa stands guard

A local philosopher (Bill) contemplates the message of the badlands

Breaks in the clouds paint the nearby mountains with sunlight

We left Fonts Point and drove further east on the S22 highway.  Five miles down the highway we turned south at the sign for the Arroyo Salada Campground and headed along a winding path through a series of washes.  We made a brief stop at a spot called Five Palms.  The name seemed appropriate to us.

Tessa leads the way

We then continued to follow the winding route through the desert until we came to a small field of bowling ball size rocks known as the Pumpkin Patch.

This unique landscape is the result of wind and water continuously eroding the surface soil and revealing globular sandstone concretions that look much like pumpkins in size and shape. The concretions are believed to be formed by the natural cementing of sand particles to a small object such as a piece of shell, a grain of sand or even an insect.

Jodee and Sue wander in the Pumpkin Patch

The empty, dusty parking area by the Pumpkin Patch seemed to be the perfect place for a dog to go a little crazy.  The normally calm Tessa recognized this and spent a few minutes entertaining us as she raced around in circles, kicking up a cool dust trail in her wake.

Who let the dogs out?

The sun was quickly setting in the west (as it usually does out here) so we decided we needed to head north back to the highway.  We have a very good map of the area and selected a route that would take us there.  But we were in a section of the Ocotillo Wells Recreation Area and the area is heavily used by off-road vehicles who often create their own roads, so following a trail on the map with numerous crossings with unmarked paths is difficult.

Needless to say, we took a wrong turn somewhere and, even though we could see a radio tower that we knew was on the highway, we had a bit of trouble finding a spot to drive up out of the washes to get to it.

The path we ended up on took us up and over some fairly significant mounds, but Jeeps handle these obstacles without any problem.  It turned out to be great fun.  We made it out just before dark, said our good-byes to Bill, Jodie, and Tessa and headed home after another great day in the desert.

 

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35 Responses to Jeep Roads in Anza Borrego

  1. Upriverdavid says:

    Pie?!!!….I wish I had paid closer attention watching my mom making her pie crusts…She would take the leftovers and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and make little turnover thingys…Mmmmm.
    Almost as great as her pies…
    You just brought back a great memory of my mom…
    Thanks,
    Upriverdavid

  2. georgeyates says:

    So nice that you found the eagle rock it looks amazing. And of course you to have to Sample the Julian Pie company, Love Borrego Springs.

  3. Mary Hone says:

    What fun exploring. That rock totally looks like a bird, how neat is that. And pie…….

  4. Jim and Barb says:

    Woah, Lewis is a big dog and looks really friendly. That eagle rock formation is really cool! We are headed to Yuma tomorrow and Quartzsite after that, hope to catch up with you somewhere!

  5. “fairly significant mounds” makes me see myself getting out of the jeep and walking 😉

  6. Laurel says:

    So much fun! I can only imagine all of the laughter with the six of you together. :-)) Eagle Rock looks just like an eagle — but the best is seeing Pam vault that gate. (Go Pam!!) The desert looks like a pastel watercolor painting in your photos. Next time we’re there, we’ve got to visit the Pumpkin Patch.

    • placestheygo says:

      Dave discovered that we could easily slip sideways through the gate slats AFTER John and I climbed over! We didn’t post the photos from the other side showing the NO Trespassing signs!! Yes, next time you are in the area you need to visit the Pumpkin Patch.

  7. pmbweaver says:

    I can’t believe the former gymnast didn’t just vault over that gate. Must be losing her touch…lol
    Oh cool….I see Eagle Rock really clearly.
    Fonts Point is amazing. Love your photos.
    The concretions are pretty amazing for sure. We missed those. Dang.

  8. Sitting in San Diego I am envious of your desert drives and big empty spaces!

  9. Sherry says:

    What fun to read to accounts of the same adventure. That pumpkin patch is really interesting. Looked like an Eagle there at Eagle rock. Side view of his face and beak. Did Lewis and Tessa ever get to play together? Your picture of Fonts Point is gorgeous. I can see why Bill was contemplating. But was it a cherry pie? Pie lovers want to know?

  10. Sounds like a perfect day in the desert! And those round “pumpkins”–strange!

  11. Ingrid says:

    Fun and interesting sights. And the judge raises her card “10”.

  12. LuAnn says:

    You are such a rebel Pam! But I have to say that that short hike may not have been worthy of a slice of Julien Pie (haha). Looking forward to seeing you soon.

  13. Jodee Gravel says:

    I wonder if a pie would have survived that drive? Such fun pics of crazy Tessa! We sure had a good time following our intrepid leader – who we know knew exactly where we were at all times 🙂

    • placestheygo says:

      Tessa does take great photos as she did her wild thing. It’s funny to see her run around so fast since she is always so calm. Of course the guys knew EXACTLY where we were!! It was a great day!

  14. geogypsy2u says:

    Interesting, I was a gymnast on the uneven parallel bars but would now go through the gate instead of over. Love that landscape and glad Lynda and Howard took me to Fonts Point, where my truck couldn’t go. Still wondering why I didn’t get to Julian for pie.

    • placestheygo says:

      You could drive to Fonts Point right now in just about any vehicle. There isn’t any deep sand which is usually the problem. Glad Linda and Howard took you out though. It’s not to be missed! Sorry you missed the pie. Next trip!

  15. Gay says:

    Awesome fun! And pie too! Perfect!

  16. Susan Bank says:

    Great pictures and descriptions of our wanderings….too bad there isn’t a better picture of the Gravel’s Jeep in the badlands, it looked like she was driving on the moon!

  17. Steve & Dianne Colibaba says:

    We’ve stayed at and ridden our quads at Occotillo Wells SRVA several times. Lots of interesting things to see there. Glad you made it out before dark! Borrego Springs is a great area.

  18. rmacwheeler says:

    Hello!! So happy I opted to come visit from ‘Linda’s Lens.’

    Love your photo-hiking travels.

    I’ll be back.

    -Mac

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