Blair Valley Loop

Total Miles
7.9

Elevation

865.94 ft

Duration

1.25 Hours

Technical Rating

3

Easy

Best Time

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Trail Overview

Blair Valley Loop is a 7.9-mile point-to-point trail rated 3 of 10 within the California Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Blair Valley area is a collection of two small valleys with several attractions to see. The trip around the loop road through these valleys passes three major attractions. The most popular is the hike to Ghost Mountain to see the ruins of the Marshall Smith home. This trail is located on the southwest corner of the loop. There are two attractions on the southeast corner of the loop. The first is the hike on Morteros Trail to the remains of an ancient native settlement where you'll find several big rocks with morteros. Morteros is the Spanish word for mortar holes, or grinding stones used to process seeds and plants. The area was a seasonal home for Kumeyaay ancestors who harvested the desert agave and juniper berries found in this area and processed the foods they gathered at this site. The third is the road to the Blair Valley Petroglyph site. The trail consists of hard-packed dirt and some sandy wash areas. The loop trip through Blair Valley starts off Highway S2, which is located in Blair Valley itself. After passing through Little Blair Valley, the route returns to Highway S2 in Earthquake Valley, less than a mile from where the route started. The area has limited cell phone coverage and the nearest services are located in Borrego Springs.

Photos of Blair Valley Loop

Blair Valley Loop
Blair Valley Loop

Difficulty

The trail consists of loose rocks, dirt, and sand with some slick rock surfaces and mud holes possible. No steps are higher than 12 inches. 4WD may be required, and aggressive tires are a plus.

History

History of Blair Valley: The Indian village on the Morteros Trail was seasonally occupied by the Kumeyaay Indian Tribe for nearly 1,000 years. Morteros, the grinding holes dug out in the boulders, were made by the women as they crushed seeds for their meals. Marshall South and his family lived on Ghost Mountain for 16 years in the 1930s and 40s. The home is made of adobe and they called it Yaquitepec. Marshall was a writer and poet who supported his family by writing monthly articles about what it was like living on Ghost Mountain for Desert Magazine. In 1947, his wife divorced him and the family left the homestead.

Technical Rating

3

Status Reports

Rob Rainney
Apr 28, 2024
4x4
Open
Normal
Dusty
The cactus blooms were incredible. This was an easy loop with some great scenery.
Jeff Sr G
Mar 09, 2024
4x4
Open
Normal
Easy trail but if you don’t pay attention you will get into a rut or two. Don’t get to comfortable. 👍
Kyle F
Feb 23, 2024
2023 Toyota 4Runner
Open
Normal
Washboard
Sand and dirt roads. One vehicle wide with several turn out areas. Saw a Honda Odyssey and Toyota Prius on the trail. 4H recommended but not needed. Lots of camping spots off the trail.

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