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Chichi de la India Peak

Between Tecate and Mexicali

The south-of-the-border volcanic peak variously known as Chichi de la India and Cerro Teta de la India looks pleasingly just as it should from vantage points in far East County. Getting to the 5460-foot summit requires a rambling trip on Mexican paved and dirt roads, plus a short but vigorous stretch of hiking. The view from the summit is worth it: stretches of pinyon-pine-studded plateau roll out from the base of the mountain, while desert sands shimmer in the sunlight below a mile-high escarpment. The dirt-road driving starts at the town of La Rumorosa, midway between Tecate and Mexicali on Mexico Highway 2. Follow the route (or at least one of the routes) that leads south from La Rumorosa toward Parque Nacional Constitución de 1857 -- better known as Laguna Hanson. After seven miles you should be passing near Chichi, which lies just east of (behind) a mesa-like mountain called Cerro la Plasta. Side roads lead east, closer to Chichi's base, where you can start hiking. It's slow going at times on cinder-like rock fragments that have slid down from the rhyolite plug forming the chichi's nipple, but the final scramble up the nipple's solid west face is quick and fun.

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