Blair Valley

Desert loop through a Native American archeological site.

Total Miles
9.5
Plan with onX Offroad

Elevation
950.57

Duration
4

Technical Rating
3/10

Best Time
Fall/Winter/Spring

Trail Overview

Take a scenic loop through the desert to see a significant archeological area. Hike a couple of short trails to see pictographs, Native American mortars and the remnants of an old desert homestead at the top of Ghost Mountain. More information is available at the parking areas. Because of the sensitive nature of the site, you must stay on designated roads. The loop can be driven either way, must have a street legal vehicle, and dispersed camping is avaialable.

Difficulty

Easy: Soft sand possible in wash bottoms, but most of route is hard-packed sand. Suitable for stock high-clearance 4x4 SUVs.

History

All three of the hikes are fun, but don't miss the one to the Marshal South home. Although this is the longest and steepest hike (we GPS'd it 0.8 mile, not a mile), it's the most unique of the three. Marshal and Tanya South came here in the early 1930s, built an adobe home and managed to survive for 16 years, raising 3 children in the process. To learn more about this fascinating story, go to: www.californiahistorian.com/articles/marshallsouth. html.

Access Description

From Scissors Crossing on Hwy. 78 between Julian and Ocotillo Wells, take Highway S2 south 5.3 miles. Watch for sandy road on the left with small sign that says 'Little Blair.'

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