The palm-lined canyons known informally as “Four Frogs” and “Jacumba Jim” lie in the heart of the BLM’s Carrizo Gorge Wilderness Area, a region whose east boundary abuts a large expanse of state wilderness in adjacent Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The area supports a sizable herd of bighorn sheep most of the year. During the springtime lambing season, the sheep cross Carrizo Gorge and take up residence in the Jacumba Mountains. The strenuous, cross-country loop hike described here touches both canyons and provides a good overview of this rugged area. Unlike most long trips in this book, this one starts “at the top,” with most of the work—a 2400-foot elevation gain over gut-wrenching terrain—at the end. You’ll dip deeply into your energy reserves for this one. Do it in a single long day, or take your time and backpack in.
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