Mortero Wash

Total Miles
4.1

Elevation

526.11 ft

Duration

0.5 Hours

Technical Rating

3

Easy

Best Time

Spring, Fall, Winter

Trail Overview

This trail leads from the main paved highway of Sweeney pass road into the network of trails in the area. It begins as rough washboard and crushed rock and quickly becomes really packed sand as it weaves its way up the wash. There are a few tight pinch points with massive boulders in the wash. There's all manner of desert plant life to observe as you work your way up the canyon. At the boundary of the travelable wash, you will find plenty of signs and posts noting that a left turn must be made. There are a series of fun washed-out and off-camber climbs as you continue your way up the canyon. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled if you are looking for a camping spot for the night. You'll see a few, but you may miss the turnout if you are not looking for it. No worries if you don't find one. The trail ends at the San Diego and Eastern Arizona Rail stations ruins, where there are a few places to camp and some incredible old remains to explore. If you like graffiti, it's an excellent stop to look around. From here, the trail splits in many directions. It depends on what kind of adventure you are looking for.Two bars of Verizon cell service fade to one the further you go, with none down in the wash. This is a high-traffic area for illegal border activity. Be sure to report any suspicious activity to Homeland Security/Border Patrol and use caution when traveling in the area.

Photos of Mortero Wash

Mortero Wash
Mortero Wash
Mortero Wash

Difficulty

The lower section of the trail is a sandy wash. It's generally well-packed and firm but may require airing down after a storm or after the wash has run. Past that, the trail is hard-packed dirt with easy transitions and small washouts to cross. There are a few places to pull out to allow oncoming to pass.

History

This trail leads from the main paved highway of Sweeney pass road into the network of trails in the area. It begins as rough washboard and crushed rock and quickly becomes really packed sand as it weaves its way up the wash. There are a few tight pinch points with massive boulders in the wash. There's all manner of desert plant life to observe as you work your way up the canyon. At the boundary of the travelable wash, you will find plenty of signs and posts noting that a left turn must be made. There are a series of fun washed-out and off-camber climbs as you continue your way up the canyon. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled if you are looking for a camping spot for the night. You'll see a few, but you may miss the turnout if you are not looking for it. No worries if you don't find one. The trail ends at the San Diego and Eastern Arizona Rail stations ruins, where there are a few places to camp and some incredible old remains to explore. If you like graffiti, it's an excellent stop to look around. From here, the trail splits in many directions. It depends on what kind of adventure you are looking for.Two bars of Verizon cell service fade to one the further you go, with none down in the wash.

Technical Rating

3

Status Reports

Avalanche In San Diego
Mar 17, 2024
4x4
Open
Normal
The trail is really just a dirt road from S2 almost to the railroad track. Hikers take it in Camries and Teslas.
Kenneth K
Aug 18, 2023
4x4
Open
Normal

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