Whale Peak (10 photos)

If anyone would ask me, I’d say that Whale Peak is definitely one of the must-do hikes in Anza Borrego Desert State Park – even though we had to do the extra four miles walking on the relatively boring dirt road, for lack of a sturdy 4WD vehicle. And after the cellphone panorama that I posted only a day after the hike, I finally managed to process my other photos from the hike. On the 100 Peaks list, this is peak number 34.

Conditions were simply spectacular – from my very own photographic perspective, of course. ;-) A mostly solid cover of dark and brooding clouds, no rain, cool winds, and a hike in a desert landscape with junipers, pinyon pines and cacti. While Granite Mountain is at the transition zone of desert and mountains, Whale Peak is much more clearly a desert peak, but the vegetation and partly almost garden-like appearance of the landscape is truly astonishing.

Most of the photos below are from Whale Peak’s relatively flat summit plateau – the views are simply marvelous in just about every direction:

We did this hike pretty much as described by Jerry Schad in “Afoot & Afield in San Diego County” (the “hiking bible” of San Diego County, which will get an update late this year hopefully, thanks to the incredible efforts of Scott Turner*). On our way back down we actually missed our trail turnoff and continued to blaze down a wash – which looked increasingly unfamiliar of course, but had plenty of footprints nevertheless. That way I found out that Whale Peak can also be hiked from Blair Valley, which sounds very appealing. I definitely want to do this hike again and I’m going to try that next winter.

*) for what it’s worth, I’d rank the cherry-vanilla smell of Pinyon Pine cones just as high as the butterscotch Jeffrey Pine bark, Scott! ;-) (find out more here: “Fantastic Smells and where to find them“)

Stay up to date with my blogposts and subscribe via email. It’s easy and you’ll never receive more than one post per day.


All images and content © by Alexander S. Kunz, unless otherwise noted. No re-use without express written permission. Most images are available as prints and for commercial licensing. Please contact me if you’re interested. Prints and licensed images are NOT watermarked, of course.

Strictly non-commercial usage (ie. no monetization through ads, referral systems etc.) on private blogs and websites is allowed if proper credit and a back-link are provided in the form of “Photo by Alexander S. Kunz – www.alex-kunz.com“. Thanks!

5 Responses

Leave a Reply