Since Ted and I had President’s Day off, we had planned to hike Granite Mountain, but its snow-capped summit had other ideas.
After touring the Anza-Borrego Visitor Center and hiking to nearby Ode Benchmark, we made the short drive to the Hellhole Canyon trailhead. Our next peak was going to be Ted Benchmark, and maybe Webo Benchmark which sits further up the ridge.
We followed the shared trail for a while before again cutting across the desert floor to the start of the ridgeline.
Ted Benchmark sits at over 2,300 feet, so the summit was going the take a bit more effort than Ode Benchmark. We picked our way around the rocks and cacti, although Ted got attacked by two different chollas…
We reached the summit but did not stay long, as the wind was picking up. Over Coyote Canyon, we could the showers falling. So down we went. As we descended, we could see rain falling above Indianhead to our north, and the skies to the west did not look friendly. Webo Benchmark sits past Ted, and we did initially consider pushing on to it, but the weather helped change our minds.
Once we reached the desert floor, we were amazed at the number of hikers still heading up to Maidenhair Falls. The skies were darkening and the winds were picking up still. Back in the car, we warmed back up and headed back into town for some burritos. Coming back home, it actually began snowing!! No worries, we were actually behind the snowplow, but nothing sticking to the road.
It was a great day hiking and fun to be back on the trails with Ted again!
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, 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.
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