Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What's New, Pussycat?

Day Sixty Three

Cat Canyon is one of many canyons in the Santa Rosa Mountains above Palm Desert. It starts by the Cahuilla Hills and extends way up past Haystack Mountain. The canyon is filled with palm oases and big boulders. I hadn't been back there in years and I was curious to see if there was any water up there.

I drove up quite a ways in my Jeep and ran into a fence with a bunch of No Trespassing signs on it. It's a good thing I always carry a Sharpie with me.

This is the beginning of the canyon and the boulders are starting already.

I also hit some palms pretty close to the canyon mouth. This is an indictor that water is always present because palms cannot exist without it.

I get to have some fun scrambling up rocks like these.

I get to this dry fall with a very large chockstone. The pool below is dry but there are signs of recent water here. I would have to do some real climbing to get around this and since my hand is going to take a couple of weeks to heal, I decide to turn around here.

On my way out of the canyon I spot this trail. I think it's the southern section of the Hopalong Cassidy Trail and since I've never hiked it, decide to check it out.

Here's where the trail leaves the canyon.

The trail very rapidly gains elevation and you get great views in no time. This is looking south to the Schey Trail.

In less than fifteen minutes after leaving the canyon I am up quite high and have a nice overview of the Cahuilla Hills and Palm Desert.

Heading back down the trail you can see how many switchbacks there are. The trail is rocky and doesn't see a lot of use. I kinda wish some of the crowds that regularly hike Bump and Grind would hike here and help tamp down this trail a bit but then again I like being away from the crowds.

Once my hand gets better and I can find a partner I'm hoping to do Cat Canyon to its upper terminus. I figure I'd better do it now because who knows when they'll close it down like they did with Dead Indian Canyon and Carrizo Canyon. Of course, as long as I have a Sharpie handy it might not matter.

(Note: I'm kidding about the Sharpie. Someone else wrote that, not me).

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