Villager Peak Walk - Anza Borrego Desert State Park
Text and photos by Bill Sullivan
When was the last time you walked 13 miles in a single day or two or three days? How many mountain ridges have you climbed before? This is not a walk for beginners. It is not an easy walk for just about anybody. If 13 miles seems like a great distance to you, or if you have never put yourself on a steep, rocky and windy mountainside before, then perhaps you should lower your sights. Go out there and get the feel of the lower elevations before trying for the top.
Carry the Fonts Point (if you come from Anza-Borrego Desert State Park) and Rabbit Peak 7.5-minute topo maps and plenty of food and water -- preferably enough to sustain you for at least an extra half day if necessary, in case something goes wrong.
Wear a hat, sun glasses and plenty of sunscreen. Wear heavy lug-soled boots. Carry warm clothing, plus an outer layer that will either repel rainwater or dry quickly if it gets wet. If you don't bring a sleeping bag, carry something you can wrap up in and keep warm in case you fall and injure yourself and have to remain out there overnight, or in case you are socked in by low clouds and decide it's best not to move until daylight.
Don't be in too much of a hurry. Allow yourself enough leeway to spend the night out there and come back the next morning if you find it's taking you more time than you thought it would.
The most common route to Villager Peak starts at mile 31.8 of the S-22 Road, at the head of the Thimble Trail. This is 12.6 miles east of Christmas Circle in Borrego Springs.
It is also possible to follow a route from the north side of the Santa Rosas to Rabbit Peak and then to proceed southward to Villager Peak. John W. Robinson describes this route in his delightful little book, San Bernardino Mountain Trails, which is also a good resource for the history of these mountains and people who lived there as far back as the Cahuilla.
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