Imperial County Highpoint Trip Report

Blue Angels Peak (4,548 ft)

Date: April 16, 2005
Author: Layne Bracy

We used the directions to the TH and route description in Suttle's book, as well as Gerry Roach's trip report. After turning off Hwy 80 and then left on the old dirt road, we came to an intersection where there is a single-wide trailer, a metal shack, and some cars on the right. The correct way is to turn right at this living space. We chatted with the resident, who seemed a bit frazzled by the border crossers. Within another 1/2 mile we came to a pullout on the left, where we parked.

We walked up the road, admiring wildflowers and various cacti. We never saw the 3-way road junction or the signs mentioned in the book, so map and compass were helpful in choosing the correct forks. The map in the book shows the three roads to avoid that branch off the correct trail. The first to avoid branches left and drops into the valley before rising in the distance. The second branches right, heading up where an antennae is seen. The third branches right, heading west while the trail turns east.

We followed the road to its eastern end and could now see the "boulder ready to roll" perched on a summit. A use trail skirts under this boulder to the right. After passing it, we hiked up to the ridge and then to the Smuggler benchmarks, where the register is located. According to Gerry, the highpoint is actually on the next outcrop to the south, so we visited that next, not finding the second register. We visited the next outcrops to the south, then dropped to the boundary fence and visited boundary monument 231. Gary Suttle says the fence is 60 feet away from Mexico. If that is true we did not venture out of the USA. Blue Angels Peak does not have much prominence from its saddle with the next higher rock outcrops in Mexico.

We heard gunshots a few times in the distance and saw the promised litter but saw no other hikers. We took over 3 hours to enjoy this hike in the hot desert sun. Border Patrol was set up on I-8 nearby but waved us through.

Hike statistics: Round-trip about 5 miles, with 1,350 feet of elevation gain.