off road driving

trail locations for Thermal, California

This trail kicked my butt. I wasn't prepared.. I'll be back tomorrow to conquer. I got side tracked quite a bit. The trail is not easy to follow. Beautiful scenery!

off road driving
3 months ago

Awesome trail to do at night. Definitely worth doing again. Not a trail to run on your own.

Good and rugged terrain - best to have a 4x4 or at least a high clearance vehicle to get up the road from Old Highway 80. Having map and compass are a must, and Jerry Schad's description of the approach to the summit is a bit sketchy. Climbed it in November 2015, very little human presence except for a Border Patrol truck and some guys trying to get a Nissan Pathfinder up the 4x4 road.

8 months ago


This was my first hike ever!! It was intense but I had so much fun and would do it again!! Make sure you have good shoes because I was slipping since at times its uneven. My mission was to make it to the Smugglers Cave, Valley of the Moon and Eliot's Mine but didn't make it that far since we left late. Going to do it again soon! There's a few routes so make sure you stay on track!

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!

This hike is challenging for several reasons. First off, from where you park you cant see the Blue Angel peak because its obscured by several false peaks, and instead you think that its a nice short peak, when in fact its really not.Next time I'll print out an Alltrails TOPO map for reference as it took me a liitle before i could identify which peak was BA.
Its also challenging because there are a myriad of trails out there splitting off to different peaks in all directions. And although and I did have a hiking book for reference ( Afoot and Afield in San Diego County by Jerry Schad) i never did make it to the BA summit after hiking for 2.5 miles towards the summit, according to the track i recorded and uploaded ( titled apr212015.) I got close but couldnt find a trail to get me to the summit. And according to Jerry Schad its approx 2.5 miles to the summit. So i clearly went the wrong way. I plan on attempting this again in the future and trying a different route.
The hike itself is moderatly strenous because your ascending 90% of the time. Also, it was HELLA Windy. He describes this place as one of the windiest places in Southern Cali. It was very gusty and blew my big floppy hat off several times. He also points out the BA peak is the highest point in 'Alta' California, whatever that means. I did manage to summit a peak just below the BA peak and discovered some old retangular shaped decaying cinder block building perched with a great view of the smaller peaks below hovering over the wind-turbine covered desert floor. The BA Peak is visible in the picture shot from inside the cinderblock structure looking out.I uploaded several pics to document my hike.
Im disappointed i didnt make the summit as i ran out of time. But I'm looking forward to trying again.

Not much of a hiking trail unless you drive in. See other review on the longer valley of the moon trail for details. Ps you need a 4x4 to enjoy this trail.

rock climbing
4 years ago

This area is good for climbing, but you will need a 4x4 to get in. The road in has some very large rocks and wholes so make sure you also have some clearance on your vehicle If you hike from the trail head off the 8 it would be just a long walk up a steep 4 wheel drive road. Once you drive in however there are quite a few nice trails in the area and many large interesting rock formations to look at or play on. Remember you are on the Mexican board in this area so be aware of where you are hiking, it is very easy to stray out of US territory here.