Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 33.10250°N / 116.2776°W
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Spring, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 3657 ft / 1115 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Sunset Mountain is located in the Vallecito Mountains within the Anza Borrego State Park. The peak's central location affords it great views of the area. The peak can be climbed from all sides as a day hike. No route exceeds class 2 and the bushwacking is minimal. There are good backcountry campsites on both sides of the peak. The peak should be avoided in the summer months due to extreme temperatures.
From Pinyon WashSunset Mountain from Pinyon Wash

Getting There

Route Start Route Difficulty Elevation Gain RT Distance
Pinyon Wash Northwest Ridge Class 1-2 2000 ft 3.5 miles
Harper Canyon Northeast Ridge Class 1-2 2500 ft 6 miles

Both routes are located off highway 78. To get to Pinyon Wash travel approximately 4 miles east of the junction with S3. Turn south into Pinyon Wash and travel down the main road to the base of Sunset Mountain. Four wheel drive is not needed under normal conditions.

To get to Harper Canyon travel 2 miles east of the junction with Borrego Springs Road. Head south on the dirt road. When you arrive at a junction take a right which will lead you to a second junction. Take a left at this junction and follow the road to its end. Four wheel drive might be needed, or at the very least moderate ground clearance and some careful driving.

A map of the region can be found HERE.
From Harper CanyonSunset Mountain from Harper Canyon

Red Tape

There are no permits required for hiking the peak or backcountry camping. Fires must be in metal containers, you must bring your own firewood, and there is no shooting in the area. Camp in established spots.


There are backcountry campsites in both Harper Canyon and Pinyon Wash. There are also developed campgrounds at Borrego Palm Canyon and Tamarisk Grove. Reservations for these may be made by calling Reserve America at (800) 444-7275.

External Links

Weather conditions can be found HERE.

The Anza Borrego State Park main page can be found HERE.
Nearing SummitThe northwest ridge of Sunset Mountain