Matt Potter 6 a.m., June 23
- View to north into Borrego Valley from the ridge
Sunset Mountain, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
A bird’s eye view of Borrego Valley and the surrounding desert and mountains from a mountaintop.
- Distance from downtown San Diego: About 88 miles. Allow 1 hour and 50 minutes driving time (Anza-Borrego Desert State Park). From SR-163N, take I-8E, exiting at SR-79N (Descanso turnoff). Turn north on SR-79. Drive 3 miles and turn left, continuing on SR-79 for 20 miles to the junction of SR-79 and SR-78/Banner Rd. Turn right on SR-78 and drive 22.5 miles to the turnoff for Pinyon Wash, 4.1 miles past the junction of SR-78 and SR-3. Drive south 1.6 miles on the Pinyon Wash dirt road to the junction with Nolina Wash. Go left, staying in Pinyon Wash. Drive 1 mile further and park (if concerned about driving in the wash, park at the junction and begin the hike there).
- Hiking length: 6 miles out and back. Allow 5–7 hours.
- Difficulty: Strenuous. Elevation gain/loss almost 2000 feet. Trekking poles highly recommended. No clear trail — just a route with many boulders, loose gravel, agave, cacti, and thorny catclaw acacia. No facilities. Carry at least a half-gallon of water.
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