I'm already looking forward to next year's gathering! It was good to see old and new friends at yet another successful BorregoFest event. The OAUSA crew really outdid themselves! It was a great trip with some amazing set-ups and even greater people! Here are my photos and some info on the run we did up Carrizo Mountain and through Anza-Borrego Desert State Park:
Outdoor Adventure USA's 2014 BorregoFest Run: Carrizo Mountain & Southern Anza Borrego Tour
I awoke at O'dark thirty Saturday morning to head out to the Butterfield Ranch Campground in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, which would serve as headquarters for Outdoor Adventure USA's 2014 BorregoFest event. This would be the 6th annual gathering of 4wheeling, overlanding, and outdoor adventure enthusiast, to enjoy good times on the local desert trails, attractions, as well as amazing food and campfire conversation.
I was feeling a little disappointed that I would only be attending for one day, but also excited to see new and familiar faces and that I would soon be maneuvering my 2000 Jeep Wrangler along some of my favorite rough desert terrain. Its always a pleasure showing people sights they've never seen and places they've never experienced.
From El Cajon, I made my way Northeast along Interstate 8 and CA-79 to the touristy mountain town of Juilan, and then down the grade to Highway S2 and into camp. After a bit of socialization with some old and new friends around the campground, all the folks who had signed up for my run were soon lined up and ready to roll.
From camp, we headed Southeast along Highway S2, and then East on Even Hews Highway (S80) to Painted Gorge Road, where we aired down.
Cast of characters:
John- Jeep Wrangler TJ
Greg - Ford Bronco II
Brian - Toyota FJ Cruiser
Brent - Toyota Landcruiser
Tim - Jeep Wrangler JK
Steve & Shellie - Toyota 4runner
Richard - Toyota Tundra
Simon - Nissan Xterra
Mike - Ford F150
Bill - Land Rover Defender
Painted Gorge, located on the eastern side of the Coyote Mountains, consists of sandstone rocks that over time, have created fantastic shapes and colors. Oranges, reds, purples, and mauves mixed with browns and blacks create a palette of color as the sun illuminates and plays shadows upon this geologic wonder.
Starting to climb up the shelf roads.
Carrizo Mountain is the highest point of the rocky Coyote Mountains, located in the transition zone between the Salton depression of Imperial County, and the mountains and desert valleys of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park to the west. The range is located not far north of Interstate-8 near the small community of Ocotillo, and is the centerpiece of the Yuha Desert Recreation Area. The surrounding foothills and desert are popular with off-road vehicles and dirt bikes. Few venture up the old mining roads that leads to a turnaround a few hundred feet below the summit.
Looks like I still haven't lost anyone.
Tim and Richard making their way up.
At the end of the road, it is a short 500 foot scramble to the summit of the mountain. At the summit, the entire Anza Borrego Desert State Park comes into view. You can see the Salton Sea (150 feet below sea level) to the northeast, the snow-capped Santa Rosa and San Jacinto ranges to the north, Whale Peak to the northwest, the 6000 foot escarpment of the Laguna Mountains to the west, Mexico to the south, and the Imperial valley to the east.