I'm on my annual to semi-annual trip to the Anza Borrego Desert right now (I try to do every Winter Break, Spring Break, or both here, since its where my family is), and that means lots of hiking! Got in on Wednesday, December 14th, and since then it's been:
Thurs, 12/15: Fairly lazy day, just a long but slow walk around the golf course with a birdwatching group.
Friday, 12/16: Palm Canyon
. This is the classic Borrego hike. It's the most "bang for your buck" in terms of scenery for an easy hike. It's weird, we come to the desert and then seek out the oases...and when we go into the mountains, we seek out the valleys! But it's really pretty. 1.5 miles and 500 feet elevation gain on the way up, 1.5 miles and 500 feet elevation loss on the way back. About an hour and a half of constant walking, but we took our time, stopping to look at stuff, and ate lunch at the top. Also, we went past the palm grove to the second palm grove, adding about 0.5 miles of rock scrambling to each way.
Saturday, 12/17: Did a hike up an old calcite mining road. Unnamed, unmarked route, not sure of the distance, maybe 1.5 miles, but flat.
Sunday, 12/18: Audobon Society's annual Christmas Bird Count. This involved plenty of walking around but no hard exertion or hiking. 7am to 12pm, but only about half of that walking.
Monday, 12/19: Started the day with an alternating jog/walk on a dirt road through the desert. Distance, I dunno, mile or two, but flat, easy pace.
Tuesday, 12/20: Today. We're going for a short walk this morning, just dropping the car off for an oil change and walking back, maybe a mile. But this afternoon we're hiking...THE SLOT
. 1.2 miles, easy, but very scenic.
Tomorrow or Thursday we're going to drive up to Joshua Tree and do a hike there. The other day, + Friday, we're going to do two other hikes here, one up a small mountain called Coyote Mt. On Christmas Eve, Saturday, we're hiking Ghost Mountain
. 2 mile round trip, 700 ft. elevation gain.