Desert Views from Toro Peak (4 photos)

I can’t believe it’s been one year already since I made these photos! Somehow I had written them off, but when I recently stumbled upon one of them again (the last one in particular), I actually liked the stark black & white look with the harsh light. Talk about photos marinating…

Originally, my friend Hans and I had set out to hike Toro Peak – the peak itself is off limits (a strange mixture of antennas and Indian reservation, I don’t recall exactly what the sign at the gate said) but one can get close enough to get astonishing views since Toro Peak is the highest peak of the Santa Rosa Mountain Range, with an elevation of 2657 m (8717 ft).

The plan was to drive up on forest road 7S01, hoping it would take us relatively close to an old kiln, and then hike from there, but this road was not friendly to us, so we decided to scratch our hiking plans and take route 7S02 instead – an incredibly annoying 12 miles of dirt road, bumpy and rocky, washed out from summer storms. We made a brief excursion to Santa Rosa Mountain, had our lunch, and then continued on the forest road as far as possible, and hiked the rest of the trail to Toro Peak.

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