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Old Culp Valley Road

2004 Toyota 4runner Side View
Kevin Blumer | Writer
Posted November 1, 2011

Bite-Sized Dirt Distraction

There's no requirement that every dirt trip has to be epic. In fact, trips that can be summed up as "short, sweet, and unplanned," are some of the most fun.

Case in point: Old Culp Valley Road. This route winds along parallel to San Diego County Road S-22’s “Montezuma Grade” section. Old Culp Valley Road lies within California’s Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and logs less than six miles. The beauty of this trail is that you don’t have to commit a whole day. You’ll have plenty of time to check out Coyote Canyon, Split Mountain Gorge, Font’s Point, or ply the open-travel terrain within the Ocotillo Wells OHV area. Then again, you just might want to make a U-turn and re-run the trail. It’s nice to have options.

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(4) Occasional wet weather and vehicle traffic combine to create off-camber ruts and a smattering of holes in the trail. Stock vehicles with running boards will be miserable here, but even a mildly-built trail rig can get through sans drama.

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(4) After visiting the Old Paroli Homesite, there’s another spur labeled “The Slab.” Reportedly, there’s a concrete foundation not far off the trail, but I didn’t find it. Monster-sized granite boulders were more attractive anyway.

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Guidebooks:
California Desert Byways: 68 of California’s Best Backcountry Drives
Author: Tony Huegel
Publisher: Wilderness Press
Website: www.wildernesspress.com
Note: California Desert Byways is an easy-to-use, spiral-bound guidebook that’s compact enough for the door pocket or glove box.

The Anza-Borrego Desert Region: A Guide to the State Park and Adjacent Areas of the Western Colorado Desert
Authors: Lowell & Diana Lindsay
Publisher: Wilderness Press
Website: www.wildernesspress.com
Note: This book comes with a map that’s marked to coordinate with the trips outlined within. Driving and hiking trips are both included.

Map:
Anza-Borrego Desert Region and the Yuha Desert
Publisher: Wilderness Press
Website: www.wildernesspress.com
Note: This map is available in a plastic waterproof version. Several inset blow-ups reveal extra detail. This map shows more than the one included with "The Anza-Borrego Desert Region."

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