jefe and bro John's wild TC adventure in the Anza Borrego Desert.


West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
We're just back from a 10-day, 1300 mile round trip to the Anza Borrego Desert in So. Cal. We covered a lot of territory, mostly on 2-track washes. It is a particularly dry year there so the bloom failed to materialize. This was about it;

But we knew that going in and just wanted to test the extremes of extreme truck camping (XTC). Maybe the highlight of the trip for me was going UP the sand hill, the so-called Diablo Drop Off in our TC's. John tried 1st with the tires @ 30 pounds pressure in 3rd gear/low range and sank like a rock about halfway up. Too high a pressure and not enough momentum. He had to slowly drop back keeping the front of his rig facing up the whole time. He went up a 2nd time after dumping the pressure down to the appropriate 20 pounds warm pressure and made the grade, this time in 4th/low until the mogols then dropping to 2nd/low. We both have 6 speed manuals, so I took his cue and started in 4th/low shifting to 2nd/low at the mogols and made it up. Pho bucket wound not take my vid so here's the drop box version: does sand hill at dry wash of the devil Anza.m4v?dl=0
The only other time I've tried this sand hill was in 1988 when on my new to me CJ-8's, 3rd gear exploded on an attempt to make it up. A lythe suspension and the pair of True Tracs and those 35 inch tires @ 20 pounds made it easy. 1st camp Up Fish Creek wash:
Tight quarters up Sandstone Canyon:

The bros talking it over:

Exiting the drop off:

A very few blooming Ocotillo:

Crossing the tracks @ Dos Cabesas:

Typical road in the desert:

The girls at camp:

At one of the many native Palm springs:

Winching out a hapless 2WD:

Jean and Jeff in camp having an adult beverage:

A very hidden petroglyph:

Our last camp up at the head of Pinion Wash. No Pinions in sight:

Here is one set of mogols at the bottom of the sand hill. Those holes were deep: at great sand hill Anza.m4v?dl=0

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Expedition Leader
Agua Caliente hotsprings is a good place to stay the night or just a few hrs for $3/person. Hot springs pool and showers. Beware weekends or holidays. Little kid city.


West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
Yes, we stayed at Agua Caliente hot springs about a decade ago and it was a hoot. About 75 Quail would come running around to our our back door every evening before sunset looking for a handout. Luckily, we were there in January and during the week so we had no neighbors. It was actually pretty cool and windy. My water hose froze solid over night. I kept the 18 gallon water tank full to ward off a freeze.


Expedition Leader
We stay in the farthest east spot. Indeed the quail at dawn make my day.
Getting too hot for me down there.