Peak Name: Coyote Mountain
Distance: 5.31 miles
Date: January 5, 2019
Summit: 3,189 feet
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.
The skies were partly overcast, as a storm was due in the afternoon. I parked, and Coyote Mountain looked 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, at times a clear use trail guided me through the rocks and other 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, 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.
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, 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 peakbagger.com. 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 and 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, the rain started to fall as I crested into Ranchita. 83 summits done, and looking forward to finishing them!