History of DeAnza Hiking Trails

User Rating: 4 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Inactive
 

One of the reasons DeAnza Hiking Trails are so special is its location on the south side of the Anza Borrego Desert State Park and the adjoining Jacumba National Cooperative Land and Wildlife Management Area. This area is sparsely visited by the textile public, making the area ideal for nude hiking.

Radiating out from the resort are several hiking trails and routes. The trails range from easy to follow to faint and overgrown. The routes lead to various points of interest both natural and man-made and offer a chance for solitude or physical challenges.

DeAnza Hiking Trails

The first trails were created by wildlife. The bigger the animal, the more obvious the animal tracks. Herd animals such as mule deer and bighorn sheep incised many deep tracks across the landscape as large groups often used the same route season after season. Native Americans then arrived and followed these game trails first to hunt and then to trade. Natives like the Kumeyaay also created new trails to connect villages and camps both to each other and to food and water sources. Miners arrived in the mid-19th century and left their own trails leading to their mines and prospects. The advent of motorized travel widened certain trails for vehicle use. Then the railroad came, and more trails and roads were created to service the workcamps along the way.

The land the resort is on was once a major Kumeyaay village, so it was natural that many native trails radiated out from the site of this village. Then the area became a ranch, the old trails now used to herd cattle. When the railroad used Carrizo Gorge to connect San Diego with El Centro, access roads were built first through Walker Canyon and then through the ranch, creating the Carrizo Gorge Road. Mining activity created more roads. The Northeast Trail became a jeep trail connecting to roads leading to the Carrizo Gorge Overlook Mine, the Circle Quarry, and other prospects mined in the mid-20th century. The ranch then became a campground and some of the old ranch trails were converted to recreational trails.

DeAnza HIking Trails

With the completion of the railroad, the workcamps were dismantled and the access roads abandoned. The mines were played out or proved uneconomical so the roads and trails to the mines were no longer used. The cattle trails no longer had cattle, the Kumeyaay, restricted to reservations, no longer traveled their trade routes. The original campground went bankrupt and, save for the trails used by the deer, the original trail network became overgrown and returned to nature.

Jeep enthusiasts discovered the major mine roads and began using these routes recreationally. When Dave bought the property, he had to close off the Northeast Trail to vehicles due to this increase in jeep traffic. But the route became a popular nude hike. Carrizo Gorge also became popular, both along the railroad and the abandoned workcamp roads. Temple Peak, being the most obvious geological feature of the resort, also attracted hikers, although the trail had become difficult to follow.

The Carrizo Creek Trail was the first DeAnza Hiking Trail to be rehabilitated. This trail led to a group of petroglyphs and explored the cool wooded areas of Carrizo Creek. Being relatively flat, it was easy to rebuild. The Temple Peak Loop Trail came next, and from there the trail network continued to grow. As old routes were explored and more points of interest rediscovered, volunteers worked to clear and mark the trails and the variety of hiking opportunities grew.

DeAnza Hiking Trails

The map offered here is based on my exploration of these routes using my Garmin Oregon 750t GPS unit and from studying the aerial photos on Google Maps. These are what I feel to be the major routes. There are other routes not shown but those have been added to the hiking book displayed in the recreation room of the Clubhouse. It seems every time I go out for a hike, I find new routes. Some are easy to find as they are lined with stones and obviously ducked with cairns. Others are fainter and a challenge to follow, the ducks being less frequent, but they lead to what I feel are interesting destinations. I will describe these in more details in future articles.

DeAnza Springs Logo
DeAnza Springs Logo

1951 Carrizo Gorge Rd.

Jacumba, CA 91934

619-766-4301

Stay@DeAnzaSprings.com

1951 Carrizo Gorge Rd.

Jacumba, CA 91934

619-766-4301

Stay@DeAnzaSprings.com

Site designed and hosted by:

One Stone Web 

Site designed and hosted by:

One Stone Web

AANR Logo
AANR Logo
TNS Logo