Peak Name: Wilson Benchmark
Distance: 8.46 miles (including Pinyon Ridge)
Date: January 21, 2018
Summit: 4,544 feet
Today was going to be another two-fer, the primary peak is Wilson Benchmark and the secondary peak is Pinyon Ridge. I was able to convince both Ted and Dave to head out into the chilly high desert. We grabbed our wool caps and gloves and headed out. We drove out toward Ranchita, until we reached Wilson Road, from there we turned on to Old Culp Valley Road. Glad we were in the Subaru. We found the trailhead without any issues.
The trail is an old, partially overgrown jeep road, and it goes up and down through the sparse landscape of burnt trees, resprouting shrub skeletons, blackened yucca trunks, and granitic boulders. Most of the area had burned in the 2012 “Vallecito Lighting Complex” of fires.
About 2 1/2 miles in we left the trail and summited Pinyon Ridge. Rather than return directly to the trail, we continued across the open desert to the east until we intersected the trail again.
After about 4 miles, we reach the base of the summit. From there we worked our way up, past the boulders and burned trees.
Once there we easily found the benchmark and register.
Anza-Borrego was again spread out before us. We could see the Salton Sea in distance. Although it had warmed up some, there was still a bit of wind blowing, so we did not linger.
The return to the trailhead and the car was brisk, as Dave needed to get home.