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Coyote Mountain & Clark Dry Lake

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Coyote Mountain & Clark Dry Lake

Page Type: Trip Report

Location: California, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 33.34340°N / 116.32876°W

Object Title: Coyote Mountain & Clark Dry Lake

Date Climbed/Hiked: Dec 26, 2014

Activities: Mountaineering

 

Page By: nader

Created/Edited: Jan 3, 2015 / Apr 4, 2016

Object ID: 926348

Hits: 1229 

Page Score: 82.88%  - 16 Votes 

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Overview


The south face of Coyote Mountain from where we stayed, the higher Santa Rosa Mountains in the back



The 3192 ft Coyote Mountain rises 2700 ft to the north of Anza Borrego Desert Plain in southern California. To the east and west, Coyote Mountain is separated from higher mountains via arid valleys. Clark Dry Lake sits to the east of Coyote Mountain.

This beautiful mountain was well visible from where we stayed for one week near Borrego Springs, CA. My heart, however, was set on climbing it long before I actually saw it.


The west face of Coyote Mountain with the higher Santa Rosa Mountains in the back




The east face of Coyote Mountain

The Hike

Starting Elevation: 560 ft
Summit Elevation: 3192 ft
One Way Hiking Distance: 2.3 miles

Southeastern ridgeline
Map



Left our vacation rental home around 6:50 a.m. and followed the good directions given on Summitpost to reach the base of the southeastern ridgeline of Coyote Mountain. The unpaved Rockhouse Canyon Road was not rough but I was somewhat anxious about driving it too far without having four wheel drive. As I was driving the dirt road, I saw a car parked off the road in the desert. The car had a solar panel on it making me think that the owner was staying there long term. Shortly after going by the car, I decided to park since I could see the southeastern ridgeline of the mountain not far away. As soon as I got out of my vehicle, I heard someone extremely upset yelling obscenities presumably at someone else but I never heard the other person. It must have been the guy in the car I had seen earlier but I was far enough from him that I could no longer see him so I did not think that he was yelling at me. I did not want to leave my vehicle there therefore I drove farther on the road until I reached what looked like a rock crushing operation/mine. No one was there. Parked in that area and began my hike at 7:30 a.m. The elevation was 560 ft and temperature 36 degrees F.

Eastern slopes of Coyote Mountain
From where I started my hike


Walked over the desert floor a short distance to reach the base of the southeastern ridgeline. I could still barely hear that man yelling in the far distance. The only words that I could discern were F*** You, F*** You. Was this a mentally deranged person? Was I going to come back to see my car trashed? I decided to continue hiking anyway. The higher Santa Rosa Mountains were visible behind me across the Clark Dry Lake Valley to the east.

Southeastern ridgeline of Coyote Mountain
Hiking toward the southeastern ridgeline

Santa Rosa Mountains
Santa Rosa Mountains


Got on the crest of the ridgeline and began to go up the relatively steep slope. A beaten path could be found here and there. I was expecting to find thorny cacti all over the place but to my delight I found mostly barren slopes with scattered desert shrubs.

On the southeastern ridgeline of Coyote Mountain
Ridgetop


At an elevation of 1300 ft, the slope eased up a lot. I could see the path I had to follow to reach the summit.

Following the ridgeline to the summit
Ridgetop to summit

Following the ridgeline to the summit
Ridgetop to summit


A canyon could be seen to the left.

Canyon below the southeastern ridgeline
Canyon


Continued up the slope.

On the southeastern ridgeline
Ridgetop

On the southeastern ridgeline
Ridgetop


Thorny cacti appeared at around 2300 ft of elevation but I could still easily walk among them.

Abundant Cacti above 2300 ft
Cacti

Cholla Cacti
Cacti


Reached the very broad plateau-like summit at 9:35 a.m. A pile of rock marked the summit where I found a summit registry. An entry from 2 days ago said “Gimpilator was here”. I knew that had to be our own Gimpilator on Summitpost (which at that point I had never communicated with). It was cool enough that I had to put my jacket on. Had food and enjoyed the views.

Toro Peak 8716 ft
Toro Peak

San Ysidro Mountain 6147 ft
San Ysidro Mountain

Looking south/southwest
Looking S/SW

Looking south/southeast
Looking SE

Clark Dry Lake
Clark Dry Lake and the southern tip of Santa Rosa Mountains

Rabbit Peak 6623 ft
Rabbit Peak


Left at 10:20 a.m. retracing my way down the ridgetop. Could see the ridgeline going all the way down to the desert floor.

Ridgeline going down to desert floor
Following the ridgetop down, Clark Dry Lake seen


To my surprise, near my car, I heard that angry man yelling a few more times. I reached my car at 12 noon. Another car was there and I could see two men having hiked far onto the surface of Clark Dry Lake. I decided to do the same and took a different path from those people. Walking on the soft dried mud with the pleasant wind was very enjoyable. The views were fantastic. It was now 59 degrees F.

Clark Dry Lake and Villager Peak 5726 ft
Villager Peak from Clark Dry Lake

Coyote Mountain 3192 ft from Clark Dry Lake
Coyote Mountain from Clark Dry Lake

Clark Dry Lake, looking north
Looking north from Clark Dry Lake




Images

On the southeastern ridgeline of Coyote MountainRabbit Peak 6623 ftSouth face of Coyote MountainCanyon below the southeastern ridgelineAbundant Cacti above 2300 ftClark Dry Lake, looking northSouth face of Coyote Mountain
Cholla CactiSoutheastern ridgelineToro Peak 8716 ftEast face of Coyote MountainSanta Rosa MountainsSan Ysidro Mountain 6147 ftWest face of Coyote Mountain
[ View Gallery - 12 More Images ]



Comments


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Viewing: 1-6 of 6    

BobSmithNice...

BobSmith

Voted 10/10

weird story.
Posted Jan 5, 2015 4:38 am

naderRe: Nice...

nader

Hasn't voted

I just did not know what to think, especially when I heard the guy yelling 4 hours later as I came down the mountain.
Posted Jan 5, 2015 8:56 am

Brian CBreaking Bad??

Brian C

Voted 10/10

Other car happen to be a camper??? :)

Cool looking peak. I've always had a soft spot for the arid types.
Posted Jan 5, 2015 8:04 am

naderRe: Breaking Bad??

nader

Hasn't voted

No actually seemed to be a regular car.

This was a great escape from the Wisconsin cold, (although we did get stuck in a snow storm on the way back to San Diego on I-8. Never thought I will be in a snow storm in San Diego but see not one flake of snow as I land in Chicago!!!)
Posted Jan 5, 2015 8:58 am

gimpilatorCoyote

gimpilator

Hasn't voted

Heather and I hiked up the same route as you, two days prior and that guy with the car and solar panels was yelling just as you described. Heather was concerned about leaving the car so near a person who is obviously disturbed. But our vehicle was not tampered with.

Nice report!
Posted Jan 7, 2015 4:27 am

naderRe: Coyote

nader

Hasn't voted

Wow,

That makes it even more interesting. Hope you had a good time in Death Valley.
Posted Jan 7, 2015 8:54 am

Viewing: 1-6 of 6