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Talk about a trip you took out to Anza Borrego

Sunrise Hwy to Granite Mountain Messages in this topic - RSS

Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 181


24 days ago
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 181
Have been wanting to hike from Sunrise Hwy to the desert for sometime and had a day off to try. My route was to start at the Pedro Fages monument on S1 and take the Mason Valley Truck Trail down to the base of Granite Mountain. I thought if I had enough time/energy I would attempt Granite peak from the southwest side having already hike it from the usual east side.

I started around 6:30am and cut across a grass field and connected to the PCT.


I went right between these to bumps to connect to the PCT.


I took Tommy’s advise and located the Lassator Hay Road that went from the PCT down to the MVTT.
This is the road that rides on top of this ridge. This is the best section-the second half the brush gets very thick-head high-until it hits the MVTT. This road from PCT to MVTT is .6 miles. I didn’t see any evidence anyone has used this trail.


Here I am on the truck trail looking back up the hay road.


Here is a little further down the road looking back towards S1. You can see the faint tracks on the hay road just to the left of center and the truck trail going up towards the right.


As I headed towards Oriflame Canyon I was shocked at how well graded this road is. I though any 2wd sedan would handle this no problem.




Until I got the steep section. It went from near perfect dirt road to bad real quick. This isn’t even the worst section.


Getting near the bottom of the canyon there were some critter tracks. Not sure what this is. Opossum?


I know what this is.


Scat as well



Healthy cactus.

Got to the bottom in 2 hours and felt great so I decided to go up the backside of Granite. I had a gpx track of this route and followed an decent track up to about 3,200ft. From there I lost the trail and decided to take what appeared to be the easiest ridge.


Saw some faint trails on the ridge and then they disappeared so I just chose a path and went what felt like straight up-billy goat style. I got to 4,000ft and ran out of gas. Took a break and rested a bit. I had about 8+ miles and some real gain to get back to the care-the peak would have to wait another day. (When I got back I had missed a junction that went up a less steep section and would have been easier)
Turned around here.

Some great moss.

Went down a bit to a flat section of the saddle and rested before the hike back. Is it ever too hot for coffee?


Looking towards Oriflamme Canyon.


Something causes this deer's antlers to shear off.


The hike back was a grind. Exposed the entire hike and loose rock for some of it. Was warmer than I had hoped for.
As I approached the hay road I wasn’t in the mood to deal with the brush so I took the truck trail up to the PCT and back to the field towards my car. This is just near the truck trail/PCT junction.
Large concrete water tank-I looked inside-dry.

Valve

Made it back to the car about 2:45pm.

One balloon.


Stats for the hike. 16.91 miles, 3,964ft gain.




I went took 5.5L of water and had .75L left. Saw 2 people the entire day-in jeeps camped near the hay road off the truck trail. This would be a better hike in cooler weather. I am a bit stumped as to why I ‘bonked’ halfway through. The hike up to this point wasn’t difficult for me. This is the second time it’s happened; other time was near the peak of San Gorgonio. I hit the wall at about 1 mile from the peak. Strange. Have to figure this out.

Link to album-https://imgur.com/a/wkhQpgy
edited by Rocko1 on 11/19/2019
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Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 26


23 days ago
Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 26
Looks like a great trip!! there is the old Redmond mine on the Southwest slope of Granite that is interesting to look around. It is labeled on the Topo maps. I too have had that problem of losing energy at the end. Even on Villager which I have done several times. I think nutrition plays a big role toward the end of the day.
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Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 181


23 days ago
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 181
Scooter wrote:
Looks like a great trip!! there is the old Redmond mine on the Southwest slope of Granite that is interesting to look around. It is labeled on the Topo maps. I too have had that problem of losing energy at the end. Even on Villager which I have done several times. I think nutrition plays a big role toward the end of the day.



I followed what I think is the trail to that mine for part of the way. https://caltopo.com/m/8A1B I want to go back in cooler temps and explore this area more.

I need to dial in my long hike nutrition, been doing low carb for a couple of years and the only time I run into this is during longer, higher output hikes. This one I just hit the wall very early for some reason.
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Buford
Buford
Posts: 242


23 days ago
Buford
Buford
Posts: 242
Cool trip.

I've used the Hay Road. It needs some use to keep it open.
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deborah
deborah
Posts: 47


23 days ago
deborah
deborah
Posts: 47
What a great day out! I really like the pictures. I'm always amazed at the vibrant colors of moss.

Regarding energy, one thing that really helps me is staying on top of my electrolyte intake. Even then it still seems like an art form sometimes. smile It may not be relevant for you, but thought I'd mention it just in case.


Thanks for posting the trip report. I didn't actually get out this weekend and this gives me my fix. smile
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Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 181


23 days ago
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 181
deborah wrote:
What a great day out! I really like the pictures. I'm always amazed at the vibrant colors of moss.

Regarding energy, one thing that really helps me is staying on top of my electrolyte intake. Even then it still seems like an art form sometimes. smile It may not be relevant for you, but thought I'd mention it just in case.


Thanks for posting the trip report. I didn't actually get out this weekend and this gives me my fix. smile



Thanks. I 'think' I have my electrolytes down. I take these https://www.hammernutrition.com/endurolytes-fizz?quantity=1&flavor=415&size=56
and have some of these as well-http://saltstick.com/product/saltstick-fastchews/. Hard to gauge if it's enough/too much but I didn't cramp at all which sometimes happens to me on long days.
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tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 178


23 days ago
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 178
Great report and trip! It was a big day even without hitting the top of Granite. I'm surprised you didn't run into more brush coming down from S1. Not too familiar The southwest route is the only one I've taken up Granite. I peaked into two mine adits that were accessible but had rodent droppings inside. I also remember an ocean of what looked like prickly pear around there. Did you navigate through that?

For super long days (>12 hours), I had to add a lot of calories and carbs. I started adding a large sub from Wich Wich or Jersey Mikes. I usually pick it up the night before and keep it in the fridge. It is a black art to find the right combination of food and fluids when you are pushing yourself. I'm sure you'll find what works for you.
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Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 181


23 days ago
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 181
Buford wrote:
Cool trip.

I've used the Hay Road. It needs some use to keep it open.


I agree. I am still amazed that you can see the tracks after all these years of non-truck use. I guess the soil is so compacted not much can grow?
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Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 181


23 days ago
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 181
tekewin wrote:
Great report and trip! It was a big day even without hitting the top of Granite. I'm surprised you didn't run into more brush coming down from S1. Not too familiar The southwest route is the only one I've taken up Granite. I peaked into two mine adits that were accessible but had rodent droppings inside. I also remember an ocean of what looked like prickly pear around there. Did you navigate through that?

For super long days (>12 hours), I had to add a lot of calories and carbs. I started adding a large sub from Wich Wich or Jersey Mikes. I usually pick it up the night before and keep it in the fridge. It is a black art to find the right combination of food and fluids when you are pushing yourself. I'm sure you'll find what works for you.



Thanks. The brush off trail in the area surrounding the PCT near S1 is really thriving and getting dense. The hay road is really a great shortcut and just becomes thick the last section.

I did see an abnormal amount of prickly pear on this section. Where I veared off the mine road and went north up the ridge is really dense with many different cactus and plants. That whole area about 3,200ft+ is very healthy. The rain really helped out.

I agree it is tough to dial in the food. I have a tough time eating during the hike. Doesn't sit well so I try to just put it off until the end or eat as little as possible-small piece of cheese one bar.
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ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 782


22 days ago
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 782
Great trip! Gorgeous mountain lion tracks too. Post those to iNaturalist! What size were your mystery tracks? They are not opossum, but could be striped skunk, but it's hard to judge scale from the photos.

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http://www.coyotelearning.org
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rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 488


22 days ago
rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 488
Great trip report and photos! That's a long bold hike with short day lite hours. You must have been really moving. You probably burned thru all your Calories for the day. Granite Mtn. has unique views at the top. Don't worry, it took me three times to climb it from the East side. First two times got hit with Rain, then Snow. Climbed Granite mtn. from the West from Rodriguez canyon near the Tourmaline mine. Looks like you went right past the Mine shaft on the South face of your Granite accent. I did your hike on three different outings.wink
edited by rockhopper on 11/20/2019
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Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 181


22 days ago
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 181
ziphius wrote:
Great trip! Gorgeous mountain lion tracks too. Post those to iNaturalist! What size were your mystery tracks? They are not opossum, but could be striped skunk, but it's hard to judge scale from the photos.



Thanks. The mystery tracks were about 1.25-1.5" wide. I think you may be right about the skunk. From what I saw online that is the closest match. I did add the mountain lion tracks to iNaturalist.
edited by Rocko1 on 11/20/2019
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Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 181


22 days ago
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 181
rockhopper wrote:
Great trip report and photos! That's a long bold hike with short day lite hours. You must have been really moving. You probably burned thru all your Calories for the day. Granite Mtn. has unique views at the top. Don't worry, it took me three times to climb it from the East side. First two times got hit with Rain, then Snow. Climbed Granite mtn. from the West from Rodriguez canyon near the Tourmaline mine. Looks like you went right past the Mine shaft on the South face of your Granite accent. I did your hike on three different outings.wink
edited by rockhopper on 11/20/2019


Thanks. I got down to the base of Granite pretty quick-hiking downhill on the truck trail you can really fly. Going up was a different story.

First time I went up there in February it was freezing and there was snow/ice at the top.

I did enjoy that weather. It would be really difficult if it was actively snowing/raining though! From what I have read the west approach is easier.
edited by Rocko1 on 11/20/2019
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tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 845


21 days ago
tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 845
Nice trip, Rocko. The 2002 Pines fire cleared out all the brush on the eastern slopes of the Lagunas but is it ever back with a vengeance! Daren and I were out exploring off trail in that same band of chaparral a couple weekends ago and gave up after a couple miles of nasty bushwhacking. Your really healthy area on Granite below 4000ft doesn't show any recent fire damage so maybe that's why it looked so good.
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rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 488


21 days ago
rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 488
rocko1 I agree. The east approach to Granite Mtn starts at around Elevation 2500 ft vs the West approach starts 1000 feet higher at about 3500 feet at the Rodriguez canyon truck trail. BTW first time I went up/down the Oriflame trail steep section It was real rough. I remember the "Turn" on the side of the canyon being pretty scary in a RV going down hill. I read the early ranchers/ wagon trail builders basically followed a Early Native American trail to build the road.
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Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 181


21 days ago
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 181
tommy750 wrote:
Nice trip, Rocko. The 2002 Pines fire cleared out all the brush on the eastern slopes of the Lagunas but is it ever back with a vengeance! Daren and I were out exploring off trail in that same band of chaparral a couple weekends ago and gave up after a couple miles of nasty bushwhacking. Your really healthy area on Granite below 4000ft doesn't show any recent fire damage so maybe that's why it looked so good.



When I was searching for the hay road I got about 30 yards off the PCT and said to myself-if this is the road forget it! The brush was just relentless. Like you said, if you had to bushwack any distance it would be miserable. Luckily when I found the road it was like heaven in comparison.

Hay road in center, Chariot and Granite in the background.
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Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 181


21 days ago
Rocko1
Rocko1
Posts: 181
rockhopper wrote:
rocko1 I agree. The east approach to Granite Mtn starts at around Elevation 2500 ft vs the West approach starts 1000 feet higher at about 3500 feet at the Rodriguez canyon truck trail. BTW first time I went up/down the Oriflame trail steep section It was real rough. I remember the "Turn" on the side of the canyon being pretty scary in a RV going down hill. I read the early ranchers/ wagon trail builders basically followed a Early Native American trail to build the road.


Was your western approach more north that my route? It looks really steep the further up Rodriquez you go.

I can't imagine anything going up the Mason Valley T.T. now except a well equipped jeep.
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rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 488


19 days ago
rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 488
Rocko1 wrote:
rockhopper wrote:
rocko1 I agree. The east approach to Granite Mtn starts at around Elevation 2500 ft vs the West approach starts 1000 feet higher at about 3500 feet at the Rodriguez canyon truck trail. BTW first time I went up/down the Oriflame trail steep section It was real rough. I remember the "Turn" on the side of the canyon being pretty scary in a RV going down hill. I read the early ranchers/ wagon trail builders basically followed a Early Native American trail to build the road.


Was your western approach more north that my route? It looks really steep the further up Rodriquez you go.

I can't imagine anything going up the Mason Valley T.T. now except a well equipped jeep.


Rocko1

Yes the Western approach I did was further north up Rodriguez canyon almost to the saddle. There's a neat Tourmaline mine up on the apposing hill. My theory that this area is the other portion of the Pala Tourmaline formations due to faulting over millions of years. Anyway, climbing Granite from the West is pretty much up zig/zag picking your way through the brush and cactus. The Big horn, Deer and game trails really help if you can stay on them. I bring a folding saw on some hikes as I sometimes get hopelessly trapped Hehe. Again fantastic trail report. Thanks for sharing.

Mason Valley / Oriflame canyon 4x4'n reminds me of the upper reaches of Coyote Canyon as you head up the final reaches towards Anza.
Tough stuff!
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dsefcik
dsefcik
Administrator
Posts: 2338


13 days ago
dsefcik
dsefcik
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Very Nice...that is one good day hike!

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http://www.sefcik.com
http://www.darensefcik.com
http://www.carrizogorge.com
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Buford
Buford
Posts: 242


12 days ago
Buford
Buford
Posts: 242
Rereading the report, I need to explore that area more. Add it to the long list.

Mason Valley Truck Trail was passable last year when I drove up it. It was just slow and bumpy from the rocks but not technical. Thankfully I did not meet any traffic coming down.
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