The guy was right, it was a wonderful route back. The drive starts down (plunging) the Banner Grade. (BTW, anytime you see the word 'grade' you can take it for granted that it will be steep and curvy.) Cool road winding through the hills down to the desert below. Right by some old mines - those are for another time. Then the drive through the southern California desert with ranches off in the distance, lots of scrub brush and several turns into trailheads. And, then we came upon a pullout with one of those historical markers and stopped to read it. Well, we found a cool trail, some beautiful rocks in the afternoon sun and some local history.
This was on one of the great overland routes from Arizona to San Diego. We visited the San Pasqual battlefield site a few days ago and - sure enough, Kearny and Kit Carson passed through here on their way to the battle site. The route was really through the wash of the canyon but it ran into a 20’ tall dry falls (the Box) so they had to cut through the rocks on the side to get through.. This work-around is now the hiking trail through the canyon and the way for tourists and hikers to get into the canyon to see the original trail. Here’s a plaque that was at the canyon telling about all the different groups who came through here to get to California beginning in 1825.
We walked down to the canyon on the hiking trail and then into the ‘Box’ part, the dry falls. In this picture the wash is the in the middle going through the canyon to the dry falls which I’m standing on in the next picture. The work-around trail is above it ending in the upper left of the picture. All those holes in the rock wall are just very shallow caves - probably for animals to hide in.
But, just look at the rocks that line the canyon. What forces of nature made these swirls and folds and layers?
An interesting drive through the desert. We started it late but enjoyed it all, especially Box Canyon.
Our 2-day Julian adventure was absolutely wonderful. Yesterday's hike around the meadow into the snow, todays hike up Volcan Mt, the hotel, the local cemetery with so many stories, the drive through the southern desert and ending up with the serendipitous discovery of Box Canyon.