Santa Rosa Mountain

Santa Rosa Mountain is a sky island amidst a sea a scorched rocks and barren valley. This offshoot of the peninsular ranges demonstrates the spectacular biodiversity of Southern California while affording some of the best views in all of Southern California.Distance: 7.2 MilesElevation Gained: 1260'Difficulty: ModerateCritters: Squirrels, ravens, hawksTime: 3:15Get there like this.Note: You will …

Mountain Palm Springs

Not to be confused with the far more fabulous Palm Springs in the Coachella Valley, this series of palm-studded oasis features a moderate meandering through several California fan palm groves, a campground, and a rare grove of the bizarre elephant tree, also known as "torote" in Spanish.Distance: 2.5 MilesElevation Gained: 500'Difficulty: EasyTime: 1:30Critters: All kinds …

Split Mountain

This spectacularly varied hike in Anza-Borrego State Park's east end features a wealth of geological oddities, echoing canyons, and sweeping vistas. Including Fish Creek Wash, Wind Caves, Elephant Knees, and the gorge that "splits" the mountain, this popular off-road destination also makes for great hiking and camping.Distance: 12.5 MilesElevation Gained: 700'Difficulty: Moderately StrenuousTime: 5:15Critters: NoneGet …

Whale Peak

Whale Peak stands as a botanical island in the sky amidst the scorched, barren wastelands of the Anza-Borrego desert. Representing the high point of the Vallecito Mountains, Whale Peak supports a thriving pinyon-juniper woodland, which is more common to the higher elevations of the Mojave Desert and eastern sides of the Sierra Nevadas. Flora aside, …

Garnet Peak

Garnet Peak is one of the many peaks that thrust out from the eastern edge of the Laguna Plateau. While it is not the highest, it has one of the most commanding views of the desert country of Southern California, including Anza-Borrego desert, Mts. San Gorgonio and San Jacinto, the Salton Sea, and northernmost Mexico.Stats:┬áDistance: …