Coyote Mountain

As my remaining peak list dwindles, solo hikes are in short supply. Coyote Mountain was one of the few peaks left. I drove out to Anza-Borrego in the early morning and was greeted with a gorgeous sunrise as I left Ranchita and began my descent into Borrego Springs.

The trailhead is off Rockhouse Canyon Road; I loved that Apple Maps told me I had to park and walk to it. Ha! Although it is a dirt road, a standard car would have no trouble.

Looking at Coyote Mountain from the Villager ridge (from a previous hike)

The skies were partly overcast, as a storm was due in the afternoon. I parked, and Coyote Mountain loomed before me. The route follows the ridgeline to the summit, so the only minor challenge is crossing the desert floor to it.

As I began working my way up the start of the ridge, I spotted this geological wonder.

I navigated my way up, and at times a clear use trail guided me through the rocks and sharp pointy plants. At other times, the trail would fade away, or I was working my way up a steep and rocky section.

The route would alternate between sections that burned your quads and easier sections that would allow you to catch your breath. As the summit looms over you, the route bends westward, letting you know that the end is close at hand.

At the summit, you are almost immediately greeted with a pole denoting the register and the benchmark is nearby.

I took in the views of Clark Dry Lake bed to the east, near where I started. To the west and south bits of Borrego Springs. I had a snack, then wandered over to a nearby bump to the west. Another register was tucked in a pile of rocks as well.

Coyote Summit

Then it was time to work my way back down because I certainly did not want to do this in the rain. About halfway down, about 14 hikers were making their way up. This turned out to be a guided hike led by the Anza Borrego Foundation. A bit behind them were two other hikers, and we chatted some. I mentioned what I was doing, and it turns out I was chatting with Greg Gerlach and Kelly Laxamana, two peakbaggers I trust on How I wish I could have picked their brain more about my remaining summits.

With about a mile to go, my knees started to really hurt. The steepness of this summit was getting to me. As I slowed my pace, I began looking for the best option to depart from the ridgeline and get back to flatter ground. I made it back to the car and was glad to be done and heading back into Borrego Springs for a cold beverage and some Mexican food. As I drove back home and crested into Ranchita, the rain started to fall. 83 summits are done, and looking forward to finishing them!

I am an avid peak bagger, sometimes backpacker, and former sea kayaker living in San Diego. In 2019, I became the third person to complete the San Diego 100 Peak Challenge. Not stopping with that accomplishment, I set my sights on the harder San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list, which I completed in 2021. In addition, I have conquered several Six-Pack of Peaks challenges (SoCal, San Diego, Central Coast, and Arizona-Winter). Beyond attempting the San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list a second time, I am looking forward to exploring new summits and new adventures across the southwest. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *