We decided to join the Jojoba Hills Tuesday morning group hike this week to Combs Peak, the highest point in Anza Borrego Desert State Park. We met at Friendship Hall (the clubhouse) at 8 AM, another early morning for Jim, and carpooled to the trailhead. We had the pleasure of Terry and LuAnn’s company in our Subaru for the 24 mile drive to the trailhead.
Gathering at the trailhead parking area. The 4.8 miles of dirt road to get there was a bit rough, and I would not recommend it for a low clearance vehicle, but our Subaru had no trouble.
I think there were around 17 people in the group, and the leader asked that we all stay together for just under two miles of the Pacific Crest Trail until the turnoff for the peak. He said it was easy to miss the turn and wanted to be sure we all went the correct way.
The group took off at a surprisingly fast pace for seniors ranging in age from 58 to 83.
Although cool at the start, it wasn’t long before some of us stopped to remove a layer.
Nice rocks and scenery along the way.
We climbed just 600’ in the first 1.7 miles, a nice gradual ascent. But that was about to change abruptly when we made the turn to go up to the peak. Oh, and our leader missed the cairn to the trail up but someone farther back in the group realized it before they got too far ahead.
Heading to the peak. It was another 600’ up, but this time over a distance of only a half mile. Some of us (me especially) were concerned about how we were going to get back down, but we would worry about that later. The gentleman in the red hat is 83 and appeared to have no trouble with the climb.
We finally got to the 6,193’ peak, where we hung out to refuel and enjoy the views.
The Salton Sea was out there somewhere but it was too hazy to really see it.
Jim and I, along with Terry and LuAnn and a couple others, decided to start making our way down ahead of the rest of the group. We knew it would be challenging and didn’t want the pressure of having a bunch of other people behind us.
Terry and Lu, deep in conversation after making it down the really steep part. I had to sit and scoot on one section to prevent myself from falling, and being too concerned for myself, I didn’t even see how the others got down there. Everyone did make it back down safely.
It was a fun but tough hike, and we couldn’t even manage to play pickleball the next day because our legs were so sore. Oh, the joys of getting old! But it always does my heart good to see people older than us still out there and active.