OverviewRosa Point is another desert peak located in the Santa Rosa Mountains and the Anza-Borrego State Park. Not as frequently climbed as its more famous neighbors Villager and Rabbit, Rosa is worthy climb in itself. The best views of the Salton Sea basin are from Rosa and anyone completing the difficult desert scramble will be duly rewarded. Both the Hundred Peaks and Desert Peaks Sections of the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club agree with the peak appearing on both lists. While multiple challenging routes exist to the summit, it is the real adventurous soul that will combine one of the other big peaks with Rosa.
All approaches to the summit are over typical desert terrain. As described and pictured in Travis’ excellent Villager Peak page, plant life is consists of various cacti (barrel, hedgehog and teddy-bear cholla), ocotillo and agave. However there are some yuccas, nolina and decrepit looking pinyon pines and juniper at higher elevations. Be especially carefully of the teddy-bear cholla -- including a needle nose pliers with the first aid kit isn’t a bad idea.
Getting ThereThe standard approach is the same for Rosa Point as the normal route for Villager and Rabbit. It’s possible to climb the peak from the east using a slightly longer approach which goes through the Torres Martinez Indian Reservation. The directions to the standard starting point from the HPS website is as follows:
Drive east on I-10 to the 86S expressway in Indio.
Drive south toward El Centro on SR 86S Expressway for about 35.5 miles to Salton City.
Turn west on the Borrego-Salton Seaway (S22).
Continue 14.8 miles to a parking area on the right (just past the 32 mile marker) and a dirt road on the left (south). Park in this area on either side of the road. There is a call box numbered S22-319 on the north side of the road. The road on the south of S22 is signed, "Thimble Trail". It is also possible to reach the trailhead by driving east on S22 from Christmas Circle in Borrego Springs for about 13.1 miles.
RoutesThere are numerous possible routes up Rosa Point, depending on the whim of the hiker. A couple of variations are described below:
South Ridge(s) routes: This is one of the standard HPS and DPS routes. Hike up the wash leading to Palo Verde canyon and ascend one of the flanking ridge sides on either side. Continue hiking up these ridges until they merge together at the head of the Palo Verde canyon. Follow the primary south ridge up to the summit.
Miners trail On the approach above shortly after entering Palo Verde canyon, look for a well defined use trail leading east. This is the miners trail and it can be followed to the natural rock tanks. Continue heading north in the canyon eventually climbing either the ridge on the right or left. Climb up to Pyramid Peak, and then follow the ridge roughly north to Rosa Point.
Northwest Ridge This approach uses the excellent Villager Peak trail to reach a saddle between Villager’s south ridge and Mile High Mtn about 5.5 miles in. Descend 600’ to the saddle (at the end Rattlesnake canyon) and ascend roughly 1000’ to Mile High. Follow the ridge southeast to Rosa Point.
Canyon routes Palo Verde canyon or Rattlesnake canyon can be used to hike up closer to the peak. Palo Verde canyon dead-ends roughly at the south face of Rosa while Rattlesnake has two options. Option 1 follows the canyon to a side canyon coming in from the east at roughly the 2.5 mile point which then ascends to a saddle on the standard routes. Option 2 follows the canyon all of the way up to the saddle between the Villager Peak south ridge and Mile High. Canyons may have significant debris, brush, or even dry water fall obstacles but are interesting in their own right.
Red Tape, Camping, and ConditionsRather than describe the wealth of information concerning Anza Borrego, visit the official state park magazine for details here. Car camping is allowed directly across from the trailhead (as it is anywhere else in the park) however you need to bring your own fire ring for a campfire. Borrego Palm Canyon (15 miles) has civilized camping including water and showers but reservations go quickly.
Climbing can be done in almost any season but October through May is the most popular times. The summer months can be brutal and hikers are advised not to visit during those months. NOAA weather.