Rockhouse Canyon and Valley Trail

Borrego Springs, California

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Rockhouse Canyon and the broad, sloping alluvial basin drained by it— informally known as Rockhouse Valley— constitute one of Southern California’s truly forgotten places. Prior to the 20th century, Cahuilla Indian villages thrived here. After the Cahuilla moved to the nearby Santa Rosa Indian Reservation around 1900, a few hardy prospectors made forays into the area, traveling along the ancient footpaths and, in some cases, living in the old rock houses built by the Cahuilla. Today, there is still no road beyond the lower reaches of Rockhouse Canyon. The closest inhabited place is several miles away. Although this grand tour of Rockhouse Canyon and Valley can be rushed through in a single, very long day, it’s better to set aside two or even three days to explore the area adequately and at a measured pace.
Afoot & Afield: San Diego County

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Afoot & Afield: San Diego County

by Jerry Schad (Wilderness Press)

Rockhouse Canyon and the broad, sloping alluvial basin drained by it— informally known as Rockhouse Valley— constitute one of Southern California’s truly forgotten places. Prior to the 20th century, Cahuilla Indian villages thrived here. After the Cahuilla moved to the nearby Santa Rosa Indian Reservation around 1900, a few hardy prospectors made forays into the area, traveling along the ancient footpaths and, in some cases, living in the old rock houses built by the Cahuilla. Today, there is still no road beyond the lower reaches of Rockhouse Canyon. The closest inhabited place is several miles away. Although this grand tour of Rockhouse Canyon and Valley can be rushed through in a single, very long day, it’s better to set aside two or even three days to explore the area adequately and at a measured pace.

©  Jerry Schad/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Borrego Springs
Distance: 19
Elevation Gain: 3,500 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 13 hours
Season: November through April
Local Contacts: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Local Maps: USGS Clark Lake NE, Collins Valley
Driving Directions: Directions to Rockhouse Canyon and Valley Trail

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