Pictographs at Little Blair Valley

We took a little trip out to see the pictographs at Little Blair Valley, a bit ago and where treated to an amazing overnighter in Anza Borrego State Park. Now I have driven past Blair Valley for years and usually because I was meeting friends somewhere else and because there was always a ton of campers at the trail head. Well the trailhead is an unimproved campground by the way so no water dispersed camping, no trash but it does have a pit toilet so you have that going for you. The turn off is about an hour from our shop in Ramona and I made pretty good time. Going in June also helped for some reason not a lot of people were out on the road, ha-ha.

For the desert during the summer we shorten our trips and leave late afternoon and come back early in the morning so we can get a quick overnighter in but not hate life all weekend. It appeared we were not eh only ones who had that idea in Blair Valley because as we drove down we counted a couple trailers, this made a little more since since they probably had AC and a refrigerator of cold beer so they could withstand the elements. But the where mostly confined to Blair Valley and we were headed to Little Blair Valley which was doable in a 2WD truck I wouldn’t want to be doing it with trailer.  But with the exception of a couple holes that required a little attention the drive was quite enjoyable.

We really lucked out because while it was June in the desert we had a nice desert storm roll in; it even had rain all ten drops of it. The drive in was nice and easy and the roads and historical points well marked so it made getting there really easy. Now with the storm we did pay attention to our ingress and egress as well as campsite but based on the lack of water it really wasn’t that big of a deal but something worth mentioning. Having arrived in the late afternoon and with the storm we decided to put off setting up camp and headed down the trail for a super enjoyable one mile walk through the desert and to the pictograph rock. It was really neat because you could almost see the original people here working and playing and the location of the drawings made perfect sense. It’s an awesome little valley with high hills on either side and a wash that leads downhill.

Having made good time and the wash making a perfect trail to a wall of rocks about a quarter mile away we sauntered down to explore a little more.  It was an easy and gradual decline to what we figured would be a rock wall where the valley closed up. What we got was an amazing path that zigzagged through tight canyon walls that eventually broke out to a dry waterfall. Form this bluff we could survey the next valley over and take in the views.

The views and unexpected detour where one of the highlights of the trip because we knew we were looking for the pictographs but this was a complete surprise.  Especially with the relative ease of the trail both going down and coming back up the hill. This is a great hike for new hikers who also have a taste for a little adventure that pays off a lot more than your average park hike.

Once we got to the top and back to the cars it was time to set up camp so we took to the usual camp chores. Until that is the wind picked back up and blew the remainder of the system through our area.  For a minute I was so busy taking in the beauty of the sunset I almost didn’t hear my friends calling me to turn around. Glad I did because behind me was one of the most vivid and amazing rainbows I have ever seen let alone in the desert in summer. That right there was the cherry on the cake for a great trip with friends. After that we turned to the usual desert camping type activities and with the sun we were up and gone early in the morning. But in those few hours when we arrived I had one of the most impactful and memorable trips to the desert I can remember.  

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