BOULEVARD-JACUMBA HIKES There are many wonderful places to see in the Boulevard-Jacumba area by car, bike or on foot. Many of the following hikes are appropriate for mountain biking as well, but hikers have a special ability to see things up close and personal. We will update these pages frequently and also provide links into websites that have details on other hikes, maps and/ or pictures that other travelers have taken for everyone’s enjoyment! Before starting out on any of these adventures here are 7 key things to remember: 1. Wear comfortable hiking shoes (no open-toed sandals!), clothing preferably able to wick away moisture, a hat and sunscreen 2. Our Communities are high desert which means it can get HOT in the summer. The best time for strenuous outdoor activities is between October and April. At other times it is wise to start your activities early in the morning 3. Carry plenty of water and stay hydrated 4. Be cautious of rattlesnakes, do not stick your hands into rocks or holes where you can’t see and be vigilant while walking through brush 5. A walking stick or hiking poles can be a big help in balance when walking downhill 6. Please do not deface rocks and if you run across any petrified wood, Native American artifacts, leave them there for others to enjoy 7. Be courteous regarding private land and if it is posted, do not trespass Here are some things you are likely to see: Beautiful rock formations, pictographs and Native American grinding stones Critters such as Quail, Hawks, Rabbits, Lizards, Roadrunners, Snakes, Ground Squirrels, Desert Bighorn Sheep (Carrizo Gorge), Coyotes and the occasional Mt Lion (they are shy but be aware if hiking near sunrise or sunset when they are likeliest to be out roaming) Incredible variety of plant-life including Cactus, Cottonwoods, Creosote, Manzanita, White Sage and delicate, colorful wildflowers Awesome views Have a Great Hike and don’t forget your camera! [SEE FOLLOWING PAGES FOR DIFFERENT HIKES] BOULEVARD AREA HIKES (McCain Valley Resource Conservation Area) McCain Valley is East of Boulevard’s central area and off of Old Highway 80 via McCain Valley Road (a left-hand turn from Highway 80). To get to Highway 80, take the Ribbonwood road exit from Interstate 8 (exit #65) continue down Ribbonwood road and turn left at the intersection with Old Highway 80/94. Continue down Old Highway 80 for approximately 3 miles. Area Elevations range from 3,000 to 4,500 feet Much of the land around Boulevard is privately owned. The best hiking by far is in the BLM McCain Valley Resource area. It is the gateway to two other BLM properties adjoining the Valley, where hikers may glimpse golden eagles, bighorn sheep and falcons. Along the eastern end of McCain Valley is the Carrizo Gorge Wilderness area with 14,000 acres to explore. Along the northern end of McCain Valley is the Saw tooth Mountain Wilderness with an additional 34,000 acres. Hikers will want to get a detailed map guide. One good one is A Foot and Afield by Jerry Schad (available on Amazon). It offers several hiking suggestions for this area, including hikes from McCain Valley down to the desert floor. One, to Carrizo Gorge is a moderately strenuous hike of approx. 8-9 miles along A mostly good trail through the ecological transition zone between the low Colorado Desert and the dry California coastal mountains. This hike descends approx. 1,000 feet into the Carrizo Gorge Wilderness. There is a relatively steep section up to the summit overlooking the desert, but the view is worth the climb. Other websites to visit: www.blm.gov (includes details about McCain Valley) www. californiadesert.gov (information on all desert recreational areas under BLM management) www.desertusa.com (lots of useful information on McCain Valley, Carrizo Gorge etc with pictures) _____________________________________________________________________________ JACUMBA AREA HIKES (Contributed to by Bill Pape) The beauty of hiking in the Jacumba area is wide open spaces, most of which are State and Federal lands open to the public for hiking. Very light vegetation allows for “no-trails needed” hiking. The contrast of granite uplifting with basalt cones and desert Chaparral is striking! In the spring, the meadows and washes are carpeted by delicate yellow flowers. As the spring turns into summer, the purple lupine emerge Jacumba elevation is 2820” Here Are a Few Short Hikes Hike #1 Jacumba Peak Elevation 3,363’ 2.4 miles Round Trip-Moderately difficult Features: Old Railroad station with vintage cars, ancient volcano, great views of Jacumba , Carrizo Gorge, Jacume´(our sister city 2 miles south over the border) and Jacumba Mountains Directions From: Jacumba Spa on Old Highway 80 Head West on old Highway 80 one block to Railroad Street. Turn right, go North across sand wash and across the railroad tracks. You will see the old Jacumba train station on the right. [Built in 1919, by the SD&A and used by short line Carrizo Gorge Railway, Jacumba's small stucco station looks more like a house than a train depot. It was used for passenger service until 1951 and for years later as a freight station.It is being used today as a residence for railroad workers. The tracks are active with an occasional freight train. Check out the vintage passenger rail cars decaying near the wash] Continue through or around the locked gate (the property owners have OK’d this) and continue up the dirt road. Keep left at two intersections to wrap around north side of mountain and arrive at peak. [You may encounter a border patrol agent who is stationed on the peak to watch over that section of the boarder. He is friendly ] Hike #2 Jacumba Water Tanks, Border Fence, Park Loop Elevation 2,907 1.4 miles Round Trip- Easy Features: View of old Bath House & plunge pools, outside view of Chinese castle. Views of Jacumba Valley, close-up of border fence and return via Jacumba Park Directions From: Jacumba Spa Head West on Old Highway 80, past the main part of town and cross Jacumba Street. On the corner to the right you will see a lot full of tall palm trees and the pink ruins of the Old Bath house. [The bath house dates from the 1920’s when the then town owner Bert Vaughn, developed a main hotel (across from bathhouse and since burned down), apartments and the bathhouse itself with a concrete “plunge pool”. The pool was especially popular in the summer with visitors from the hot El Centro area. Directly behind the bathhouse is the mostly dry Jacumba Pond] Cross the street and continue West a hundred yards or so until you get to Hill Road. Turn left and continue South up the hill to the end of pavement. The red Chinese Castle will be on your left [The Chinese castle has been said to have been built by a seaman for his Chinese bride who did before it was completed. The house has gone through several owners. It has stunning views of the Valley. Its living room was built around a boulder and small stream (like a grotto). Please do not disturb the current residents] Turn right up the dirt road to the water tanks. This is where Jacumba’s excellent water is stored. On the east side of the first tank is a good viewing area. Continue on dirt road south to border fence (say hi to Border Agent). [ As you are aware, Jacumba is located on the US-Mexico border and at one time, residents of Jacumba and our sister city Jacume used to travel to and fro freely. This included cattle and burros who used to occasionally roam the streets of Jacumba. The unmanned crossing was closed in 1995. The new, enlarged border fence now runs through the area. The United States Border Patrol maintains an increased presence in the area to curtail smuggling and illegal immigration. This helps to make Jacumba a very safe community to live in] Continue down the hill towards EAST, turn left through rocks on first dirt road –Go North to community park and then return to Jacumba Spa. Hike #3 Round Mountain, Elevation 3,367 2.4 miles One Way very steep Features: trail- less hiking, but spectacular view of entire valley from top of ancient volcano Directions From: Jacumba Spa Head West on old highway 80 100 yards to Railroad Street. Turn right, go North across sand wash and turn right crossing UNDER wooden pedestrian bridge into wash. Continue walking East through sand wash until you come a barbed-wire fence at the edge of the Spinach farm. To your left is a trail that follows along side of railroad tracks. Continue along railroad tracks until you arrive at NORTH end of double rail road tracks. Turn left-go WEST through gates, across meadow and into saddle between round mountain and the mesa towards the left. Turn right and go up Round mountain. Sign in can at top. Return to Spa any way you like or retrace steps. [Round Mountain is probably the best preserved examples of San Diego’s ancient volcanoes. Its an eroded Miocene volcanic plug. Table Mountain to the northeast has resistant mesa tops, preserved tabular volcanic flows, pressure ridges, and pyroclastic lava deposits. Many of the ancient lava flows have a lower baked zone of brick red rock which formed when the lavas flowed out across the Miocene terrain.] Other Hikes of Various Difficulty –DeAnza Springs Resort There are at least seven other hikes that can be enjoyed from DeAnza Springs resort. This is a family- friendly clothing optional gated resort just outside of Jacumba . To get there you take the Jacumba exit #73 from Interstate 8, turn right (if coming from San Diego direction). With the two filling stations on your left, continue a few miles down a dirt road to the gate for Deanza. Press the gate buzzer and let the receptionist know you want to hike. She will buzz you in and direct you to the office. You will need to sign in If you just want to hike, you need to register and pay a small parking fee ($5.00) for parking near the trailheads. There is a book in the lounge area that shows different hikes from DeAnza. If you would like to use the showers and swim afterwards (sans suit), you will need to pay $25/person for day use. Features: Nude hiking (you can be clothed but do not be surprised if you run into hikers in the buff), old mining ruins, pictographs, spectacular views and amazing rock formations. Resort is family oriented.