Photos of Palm Grove Trails

Palm Grove

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

A north-south trending fault zone is responsible for the series of ridges and canyons at Anza-Borrgo's southern end. Carrizo Gorge, the most dramatic of these, divides the Jacumba Mountains to the east from the In-Ko-Pah Mountains to the west. These mini-mountain ranges are links in the Peninsular Ranges from the Laguna Mountains in the northwest to the Sierra Juarez of Baja California. Carrizo Gorge is best known for the railroad that threads along its eastern wall: the San Diego & Arizona Eastern. Built in 1907-1919, the railroad carried freight, and for a time passengers, between San Diego and Imperial Valley. At its heart it is a remote and rugged wilderness area.

A trek down the length of Carrizo Gorge is long, rugged, and memorable. It is one to be taken cautiously, with the right equipment and clothing. Essential are long pants to protect you from the sharp thorns of mesquite, catclaw, and the needle-like tips of a particularly wicked type of bunch grass. Thick growths of tamarisk, cactus gardens, and slippery rocks will all conspire to hinder your progress. Feral cattle used to keep paths through the vegetation clear, but they were airlifted out of the canyon in the late 1980's. The start of the foot travel only trail head is reached via a 6 mile dirt road,often passable only with a 4WD vehicle.

Fortunately, the California Conservation Corps has been involved in a project to eradicate the invasive tamarisk from the Carrizo Creek watershed. Past forays into the gorge from the north end have been relativity easy due to the removal efforts. Feel free to explore the depths of the gorge until your progress is severely hampered by dense growths of vegetation. A side trip up Goat Canyon can also be made here to view the worlds-famous railroad trestle.