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Carrizo Mtn Camping & Rockhounding


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  • Trail Report: Carrizo Mtn Camping & Rockhounding

    Since December is the last month to traverse and explore Carrizo Mountain until June of 2011 by vehicle due to the seasonal bighorn sheep closure, I headed out to camp near the summit over the weekend of the 11th and 12th of this month. Along with exploring other old mining roads atop the mountain, I also searched for fossilized oyster beds and petrified wood in the nearby areas.

    Rockhounding is one of many recreational pursuits on 14 1/2 million acres of lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in California. Collecting small, non-commercial quantities of rock by rockhounds is allowed free of charge on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Commercial collecting for the purpose of sale or barter is not allowed without special authorization. Rockhounds may use hand tools such as shovels and picks, but must not use explosives or power equipment for excavation.

    Petrified wood is available for collection on a free use basis in limited quantities as long as the collection is for personal, non-commercial purposes. According to Federal regulations, free use collection weights are limited to 25 pounds plus one piece per day, not to exceed 250 pounds in one calendar year, and no specimen greater than 250 pounds may be collected without a special permit.

    Heading up the mountain.

    Narrow shelf roads on the way up.

    Camp near the summit.

    The begining of the trail passes through Plaster City OHV Area into a wide open area. The graded road soon becomes a trail as it nears the sandy wash of Painted Gorge and quickly enters the canyon. Embedded rocks litter the wash, which eventually turns into a very narrow, rocky, loose shelf road as it nears the summit of Carrizo Mountain. There are great views of the Yuha Desert and Salton Sea along this trail.

    It appears the big horn sheep hang around here.

    Greeting a lone red tail hawk.

    Later that morning I was joined by Steve in his Lexus LX450 along with his two dobermans.

    Views from camp.

    Looking out over Carrizo Wash and Fish Mountain. We were just outside the Anza-Borrego State Park border.

    Exploring other old mining roads around the mountain.

    Views out to the Carrizo Badlands.

    Many of the trails came to dead-ends.

    My finds for the day. Petrified wood and fossilized reef / oyster beds.


    We soon had the campfire and dinner going.

    The next day Steve headed home and I met up with Craig and his FJ.

    Casualty of the desert.

    Local resident.

    Our hunting grounds.

    The oyster beds were easy to find.

    The petrified wood took a bit more searching.

    Biggest piece I found.

    All my finds.

    It was a beautiful weekend spent in the desert camping and rockhounding. One of these days I'd like to head into Mexico for the same thing. Just across the border is a very productive area for finding big chunks of petrified wood. I still have some large pieces that my dad and grandfather collected there many years ago.

  • #2

    Great Pictures. I spent years camping at Borrego with my family. So many tripsd to Font's Point, and Fish Creek. I need to get back out there one day. Thanks for the tour.


    • #3
      Nice report. Looks like a great time. Got to get me some of that petrified wood.

      Originally posted by great88 View Post
      I need to get back out there one day.
      New years is one day.
      Check out .


      • #4
        Love how someone left pallets for y'all to burn. :o
        Last edited by JeepGal; 12-31-10, 12:20 PM. Reason: Fixed it for ya!
        2004 TJ X
        Callsign: KJ6DHG


        • #5
          Great pictures, great report! Thanks. Borregowrangler got a lift eh? Nice.
          "If you have significant difficulty here, dont go any only gets worse".
          (Charles Wells)


          • #6
            Originally posted by ironbelle View Post
            Love hoe someone left pallets for y'all to burn. :0
            Yep, those came in handy.

            Originally posted by Mtbikbob View Post
            Great pictures, great report! Thanks. Borregowrangler got a lift eh? Nice.
            Thanks! Also, I still have the same lift I've had since we met out in Anza-Borrego. Maybe it just looks different in the pictures.