Cheers to “Alcoholic Pass” Hike, Anza Borrego, CA

Scenery: Desert delight

Distance: You decide – up to 4.8 miles out & back

Difficulty: Moderate

This lovely little hike, was especially magical during the current wildflower super bloom. It entails some switch backs and a moderate climb (approximately 833 feet in .8 mile.) You can sign in at the top and keep going down the other side or turn around.

It was near the top when I captured a video of a bird greeting me with its morning song.

I’ve never experienced the desert quite like this – the morning light waking the shadows on the rocky ridges, the citrus wildflower breeze – oh my! Wish I’d camped at the top, it would have been fantastic to wake up to breathtaking solitude. Instead, I was running around getting wildflower pictures at dawn. (Post to come.)

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Local lore

The Cahuilla Indians originally used this route as a short cut between Coyote Canyon and Clark Valley. Subsequently early settlers also used the trail to cut off the 6 miles it takes to go around Coyote Mountain to get to Clark Valley. Some say it might have gotten it’s name from the drinking habits of the cattlemen and settlers who frequented Borrego Springs’ “watering” holes. Other say it’s just the winding trail that gives it it’s name. All this talk and typing is making me thirsty for a quenching margie and I know just the spot – the Ram’s Head Bar and Grill. (Post to come,)

Getting there: From Christmas Circle in Borrego Springs, drive east on Hwy S-22 and turn left (north) on DiGiorgio Road toward Coyote Canyon. You find the trailhead on the right, 2.4 miles past the paved road on an easily traversed dirt road. Desert Garden is just past Alcoholic’s Pass, you  can take an easy stroll in a concentrated area of cactus and other native plant life if you’re short on time or prefer not to hike up Alcoholic Pass.

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