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This morning's outing was supposed to be maybe 4mi roundtrip, but ended up closer to 10mi. I wanted to get to Peak 1,890ft on the eastern edge of the Santa Rosa Mountains and the Martinez Canyon Trail seemed well-suited to the goal. I found several online references to it, including on the USFS website that describe the trail much like they might any other. The problem, I found, is that the TH is no longer accessible due to agricultural interests that have blocked multiple access routes, all of which Google Maps vainly tried to help me navigate. I ended up well north of where I wanted to be, at the junction of 66th Ave and Jackson St, the same place I had used three years earlier for the much shorter outing to Mecca Peak. Still, I was hiking only a few minutes before I was on the old access road from the north that shows continued use. There's much trash and detritus scattered about the first two miles of the route. Car seats, old coaches and ratty chairs are clustered in little party areas. Empty beer cans, bottles, and 18-pak cardboard containers are liberally discarded - mostly Mexican beers. It's possible that the area is used as a private OHV area by the farm owners/workers, but if there's public access, I didn't find it.
I spent an hour and a half hiking the washes at the base of the range in order to reach Martinez Canyon, a wide wash running west. Somewhere in this wide wash is where the USFS shows the TH to be. I found some old fencing that looks to have been a corral for stock animals, but most of it has been washed out in flooding or simply worn out with time. Peak 1,890ft is on the south side of the wash/canyon. The north side goes up 1,300ft in a little over half a mile, taking about 45min to reach the top. I found no cairn, no register, and sadly forgot to bring one with me. The Coachella Valley stretches out to the north and east, while the Santa Rosa Mtns rise higher to the south and west, with a nice view of Rabbit Peak to the southwest. My return route was much the s ame as the ascent, and it was nearly noon before I got back to Jeep - about 4.5hrs for the whole outing. There are two additional higher summits a few miles west of Peak 1,890ft that I would like to visit, but I'd like to find a way to avoid all the sandy hiking this outing had...
I believe it may be possible to access the old 4WD road by driving south on Van Buren St, past 66th St where Van Buren becomes dirt. On my way back, I saw several vehicles that had gotten out there somehow, and it seems that the dirt roads lead back to Van Buren, based on the satellite views.
This page last updated: Sun Dec 25 15:09:50 2022
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