Mountains of the Moon

by Gary Hawkins, February 4, 2018 

We were all looking forward to our first teardrop outing of 2018 to Anza Borrego Desert State Park; it seemed an age since we were last out camping.  January is the best time of the year to be in the desert, and we had booked the same site at Borrego Palm Canyon Campground as we had last time.

Borrego Palm Canyon Campground at Anzo Borrego Desert State Park

Xaria was very excited as Mike and Holly were going to join us this weekend.  In addition to bringing their 4-wheel drive truck, they were also packing their telescope. When we got to the campground, Xaria wasted no time finding her own off-road transport!

Xaria Thinks She's Found the Ideal Off-road Vehicle at Anza Borrego State Park

Xaria loves offroading; nothing puts a bigger smile on her face than getting bounced around in her car seat.  After breakfast on our first full day in the park, we were soon exploring San Felipe Wash.

Xaria Loves to Offroad in Anza Borrego State Park

We found a great hiking spot a few miles into the wash, and Xaria announced she wanted to get to the top of the ridge. Off she went with everybody else trailing behind her.  For some reason, she insisted on dragging the stem of a giant Desert Agave!

Xaria Determined to Hike to a Ridge in Anza Borrego State Park

Unsurprisingly, with the stem in hand, the hike up to the ridge tired Xaria out! Mike was more than willing to lend a helping hand on the way down.

Completing Our Hike on San Felipe Wash, Anza Borrego State Park

The great thing about having two off-road vehicles is you can be far more adventurous; since you can rely on the second getting the other out of any difficulty. In tandem, we continued to navigate up the wash until it almost narrowed down to the width of our vehicles.  The pictures below were taken just before entering a narrow section - we're scouting the road ahead.

Off-Roading In San Felipe Wash, Anza Borrego State Park

Off-Road in Anza Borrego State Park

Later in the day, we went to The Slot. This is a narrow siltstone canyon; the further you venture in, the closer and taller the walls get. In places, it narrows down to less than the shoulders' width wide, and you have to squeeze your way through. The Slot is one of the best-known hikes in Anza Borrego Desert State Park.  Of course, if you're Xaria's size, the going is much easier.

The Slot, Anza Borrego State Park

On our final day in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, we took the dirt road out to the end of Fonts Point.  Standing on the mesa provides a beautiful vista of the Borrego Badlands below; Xaria said it was just like looking at the "Mountains of the Moon."

Overlooking the Borrego Badlands, Anza Borrego State Park

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