Anza-Borrego Desert State Park California
Blair Valley Area
Blair Valley is situated between Granite Mountain and Whale Peak, accessible along County Road S-2 south of California Route 78. This region offers two-wheel drive accessibility, hiking trails, primitive camping, and cultural and natural history resources.
Blair Valley contains four established hiking trails: Marshal South Home, Pictographs, Morteros trails and a branch of the California Riding and Hiking Trail, which descendsfrom the Cuyamaca region and passes through Blair Valley on its way to the Visitor Center in Borrego Springs. This, the longest trail in the park, rises to nearly 5,000 feet and drops to below 1,000 feet in Borrego Valley, exhibiting a wide variety of different habitats.
Recreational vehicle campers enjoy the flat areas surrounding the Blair lake bed, while tent campers disperse farther out into the nearby covesaround Little Blair Valley. These two playas were connected lakes during the ice age. A rocky ridge now separates Blair dry lake bed (about 2,500 feet in elevation) from that of Little Blair. A dirt road, accessed from Highway S-2 at mile marker 23, makes an 8-mile loop around the ridge and passes by both lake beds.
Characteristic plants of this region include Creosote Bush, and perennials like the Mojave Yucca and Juniper, while Goldfields, Filaree, Thistle Sage and Windflower are the common spring wildflowers here.
Scott's Orioles, Red-tailed Hawks and American Kestrels are prevalent, while Golden Eagles, Prairie Falcons and ferruginous hawks are occasionally seen. Coyotes and rabbits are commonly seen, and rarely, a Mountain Lion or Bobcat is sighted.
Blair Valley provides easy access to Box Canyon, located just off County Road S-2. This overlook offers a good view of the Southern Emigrant Trail and Oriflamme Canyon to the west. To the east is the Pinyon Mountain area and the Pinyon Drop Off to Fish Creek. This valley offers primitive camping and a starting point for the climb to Whale Peak.
With more than 600,000 acres, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, has 7 unique areas that you can explore.
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Joshua Tree National Park - Black Eagle Mine Road Video - Beginning 6.5 miles north of the Cottonwood Visitor Center, this dead-end dirt road runs along the edge of Pinto Basin, crosses several dry washes, and then winds up through canyons in the Eagle Mountains. The first 9 + miles of the road are within the park boundary. Beyond that point is BLM land. Several old mines are located near this road.
Ocotillo Wells - Are You Riding Your ATV Over Gold? One of the most famous prospectors of the time, trapper/gold seeker "Pegleg Smith" traveled through the Anza Borrego region. It's rumored he discovered black gold somewhere in the east part of the Park. Where he found his gold has never been discovered, or if it has, the location has never been published or verified.
Randsburg, Living Ghost Town Video
Randsburg, California is located southwest of Ridgecrest, just off of Highway 395. Gold was first discovered here in 1895 at the Yellow Aster Mine. The mines of the area have produced over one million ounces of gold. Today the gold mining activities have been replaced by tourists shopping for antiques, part-time prospectors, and off-roaders looking for food and a rest stop.
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