The fishhook-shaped Coyote Mountains cover about 40 percent of this austere Wilderness, a desertland of low ridges and washes capped by the forbidding Carrizo Badlands to the north. Carrizo Mountain (734 feet) and the striking Painted Gorge lie in a non-Wilderness intrusion that punches in from the eastern boundary. The entire area falls within the Yuha Desert Recreation Area, and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park lies immediately to the north. You'll find unusual sandstone formations that are estimated to be six million years old, adding a touch of scenic character to the area. On the mountain ridges, you may be privileged to see a barefoot gecko. What you won't see are any trails in this hot, dry country, though an old track leads up Painted Gorge to the edge of the Wilderness.
Joseph R. on Fossil Canyon Drive
Trail was good but very easy to get off course. I would recommend this as a more advanced trail. The trail frequently is gone and you have to use the map to try your best to pick it back up.
Hiked Painted Gorge and climbed Corrizo Mountain today. 19.3 miles, over 2,300 feet of elevation gain, just over 7 hours. The gale force winds at the top made the summit a bit more exciting...although those same winds made the descent in a sandstorm less than fun. Incredible geologic formations and amazing views - check out the pics. Saw a piece of volcanic pumice the size of a small car! This hike is highly recommended!
Great hike up to the peak of Carrizo Mt! My only problem was trying to find the actual trail. If your unfamiliar to the area it is very difficult to find the correct roads that lead to the trail that takes you to the peak. There is no signage that points you in the correct direction so do your research before, or simply ask the local 4x4 community to point you to the correct roads and trails. Essentially the road up to the peak is the same road the 4x4 community use to summit the mountain. I made the mistake of missing the trail and ended up at a dead end in the painted gorge. I had to climb up, and out and landed on the trail by luck. Once on the trail, it was a simple, relaxing hike up to the summit!