Second Week in Borrego Springs

Borrego Springs, CA

During our second week here in Borrego Springs we continued to enjoy some hiking, Jeeping, and golfing.  One afternoon we drove about 30 miles to the south to hike up Rainbow Canyon.  To get to the canyon we took Borrego Springs Road south and turned right on to Yaqui Pass Road.  That road ends at CA 78, where we turned west and drove seven miles to Scissors Crossing.  There we turned south on county road S2 for 11 miles.  At that point we turned around and parked in a small pull-out with Rainbow Canyon to our east.

Rainbow Canyon Trailhead

It was a short hike across the desert to the opening of the canyon.  Rainbow Canyon is not a difficult hike, but a number of pour-overs (12) requiring some scrambling to get up and over, make things interesting.

Colorful rock formations line the sides of the canyon.

We hiked about 1.5 miles to where the canyon opens up to a flat area overlooking the Blair Valley.  At that point we turned around and returned back down through the canyon.

A couple of days later we drove/hiked a short distance from our park to find a small bench sitting on a hill east of town.  To get to the bench we drove east on county road S22 to the turn onto the wash leading to Fonts Point.  At just short of 1.2 miles from the highway, we parked on the right side of the main wash near the entrance to a smaller wash to the west.

Entrance to the small wash

After hiking about half a mile west on the small wash we could see something sitting atop a hill that looked like it could be the bench.

Is this the bench?

We hiked up to the top of the hill and found our target, Burks’ Bench.

Dana Burks was a Palm Springs and Los Angeles real estate developer who saw the potential of developing Borrego Valley and purchased thousands of acres of land after the Great Depression.  The slow economic recovery following the Depression made him lose interest in the area.  His heirs still owned 1600 acres in 1974 when they decided to donate it to the state.  The bench overlooks the donated lands.  A plaque on the bench commemorates the gift.

Next to the plaque we found a small container with a journal book inside.  Visitors to the bench record their presence and often leave a message concerning their visit.

A young vagabond spends time reading the musings of earlier visitors

Every couple of days we enjoy a round of golf while taking in the fantastic views all around us.

One afternoon we joined Dave and Sue in their Jeep to explore some back roads in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.  We headed east on county road S22 for about 16 miles.  There we turned south into the Arroyo-Salado wash, the same spot where we entered the desert the previous week with Jodie and Bill (On the Road Abode).  Our first stop was a small oasis called 17 Palms.

We’re not sure when this grove was named, but there are over 20 palms there now.  Maybe a few more grew up since Spanish explorers first came through the area.  There is a mailbox located between two of the trees with a notebook for visitors to sign.

Looking down at our lunch spot from a nearby hill

Following lunch we continued driving south a bit before turning to the west on what’s known as the Cut Across Trail.  After a few miles we came to a road leading north up into Rainbow Wash.  The wash goes in the badlands that are visible from Fonts Point, a high point in the desert we last visited the week before with Jodie and Bill.

We continued up into the wash until the road began to narrow and became very tilted and twisty (both terms used by professional Jeepers!).  At that point we stopped and continued  for a bit on foot.

The landscape all around us was very impressive.  The sky was partly cloudy so the colors changed as the sun went in and out of the clouds.

Colors in the shade . . .

. . . and in the sunlight

As we crossed over a small hill we almost stepped on two small eggs nestled in some rocks and twigs.   We have no idea who laid the eggs or how they would survive in this harsh environment.


Later in the week we took a ride south to hike up Pinyon Wash.  To get there we drove out Borrego Springs Road and turned right on to Yaqui Pass Road.  That road ends at CA 78 where we turned east and drove just over four miles to the wash entrance (marked with a sign).  A mile and a half up the wash we took the left side of a fork and continued for a little over four miles to where the road ends at a pile of huge boulders.  The trail begins on the right side of those rocks and goes up through them for a short distance before the wash flattens out.

Pam is standing in the center against the rocks to show the boulders size

After about a mile and a half we exited the wash into a large open area called Harper Flats.

We read that there were a number of large rocks with morteros (grinding holes) made by early inhabitants as they ground corn.  We searched the area but could only find one of those rocks.  An animal had left his scat in one of the depressions, reminding us of a recent presidential phrase used to describe some countries of Africa and the Caribbean.

A true s*** hole!

Looking back down the wash

A bit of scrambling was required near the trailhead

Did we mention that we’re enjoying the golf course?

An unusual twosome on the second green

With a bit over two weeks remaining in our stay here we have a number of sites to visit on our list.  More on these later . . .

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Second Week in Borrego Springs

  1. exploRVistas says:

    Wow…Rainbow Wash reminds me of John Day Fossil Beds! Very nice!

  2. Gay says:

    Impressive landscape indeed! And you both sure know how to enjoy it! Beautiful golf course too.

  3. georgeyates says:

    Do love the area but not touch hiking anymore, the green grass at the golf course in a nice change from the desert.

  4. You guys are staying busy, busy! Love the roadrunner on the golf course shot!

  5. Sharing the course with a road runner…awesome! Looks like you are having lots of fun exploring, lucky dogs!

  6. pmbweaver says:

    The colorful rocks are beautiful. What a great short hike.
    Beautiful photos of the hikes. The scenery is gorgeous!
    Great shot of the roadrunner and the professional golfer. Way to be on the ball.

  7. Laurel says:

    I think those are dinosaur eggs. 🙂 That Rainbow Canyon hike looks like fun, with all of those pour-overs to navigate! Such a stark, but beautiful landscape. Did you let the roadrunner join you on the golf course? Eric says you can count that as a “birdie.”

  8. Susan Bank says:

    Ah, so that’s what you meant when you said you had a birdie! Loved the rocks in Rainbow Canyon. So glad Pam didn’t step on those dinosaur eggs, it would have been a real shame…..

  9. Nancy says:

    You know I am a Rock Hound! I love those rock formations!
    YOU made me giggle “a true s$*#…hole!”

    But love seeing what the ancient people left behind!

  10. Jim and Barb says:

    We love hikes where a little scrambling is required, makes it more adventurous! Very cool picture of the roadrunner on the course!

  11. Sherry says:

    Great pictures. Your last one made me laugh out loud. Where are the little guy’s clubs?? Love the rock layers in the scrambles on your first hike and the interesting story of the Dana Banks Bench. The rainbow wash rock colors are stunning. There’s a place I could definitely sit and stare. Having never played golf – other than mini – I wonder if you get 10,000 steps on 9 holes.

  12. Jeff Pierce says:

    The hikes in Anza Borrego are constantly amazing, it seems each change with the season. Glad you found Burk’s Bench, a nice stop for a ‘snack-with-a-view’, too short for a lunch 🙂

  13. Jodee Gravel says:

    Twisty yes, tilting no 🙂 Looks like more great fun on the trail. Those pour over scrambles must just “look” difficult! I don’t remember hearing about the bench. There’s so much interesting history and quirky fins in that area. Love the golf partner :-))

  14. Borrego Springs seems like an ultimate travel destination for adventure travel. I would love to go hiking and climbing there. Magnificent pictures!

  15. LuAnn says:

    I love how the rock formations change color given the time of day and the weather conditions! I just saw a roadrunner yesterday, my first of the year. How interesting to have one join you on the golf course. Looking forward to seeing you both tomorrow!

  16. girlonahike says:

    Looks like a great hike and perfect weather! -Alicia @

  17. geogypsy2u says:

    Nice to see there is some color in the rock around AB. Plus of course the lovely greens.

  18. Probably some sort of reptile eggs I’m guessing?? Can’t believe you saw them!

  19. What an incredible place! The rock colors are so beautiful.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s