Places of the Borrego Desert: View From Bank of Upper Palm Wash

The following picture was taken on 19 January 2009 from the hills immediately south of the use trail to get around the waterfall in the upper portion of the South Fork of Palm Wash:

See also unlabeled photograph.

See also a blow-up of the peaks on the skyline.

The geographic locations of the distant peaks are given in the following maps:

If any reader has a better photograph of the distant mountains, I'll be happy to replace my photograph with yours if you grant permission to do so.

The Cargo Muchacho Mountains, 84 miles away, can be seen across the south end of the Salton Sea. We saw them with our naked eyes on 19 January 2009, but they did not appear clearly enough in my picture to show them here. They look very similar to the view from the Montezuma Grade of S22, since they are at almost exactly the same distance from that location and from here, with the viewing angle changed by just eight degrees.

The following table gives the distances and azimuth angles, as measured from this location, to some of the features mentioned above, in order of increasing azimuth:

FeatureDistance (miles)Azimuth (degrees east of north)
Cargo Muchacho Mountains84110
South end of Salton Sea25122
Superstition Hills25138
Superstition Mountain28145
Sierra Cucapa Mountains73149
Mt. Signal (=El Cerro Centinela, north end of Sierra Cucapa Mountains)52153
East end of Fish Creek Mountains23157

The farthest peaks seen from this location are the Cargo Muchacho Mountains, 84 miles away.

The farthest peaks seen in the photograph above are the main peaks of the Sierra Cucapa Mountains in Mexico, 73 miles away. Cucapa, or Cocopah, is the name of a Native American tribe in Mexicali.

The northernmost end of the Sierra Cucapa Mountains is 52 miles away, and fairly prominent in the above picture. This peak is called Mount Signal in California, but is called El Cerro Centinela in Arizona and Baja California.

See a picture of Mount Signal taken from Highway 98 near the Mexican Border by Bill Sullivan on 20 January 2009. Amazingly, it has almost the identical profile as in my picture above, despite Bill's picture being taken from only 3.5 miles away, 15 times closer, and almost surely from a slightly different azimuth. To see how different Mount Signal looks from different vantage points, see One Hundred And One Views Of Mount Signal by Allan McCollum.

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Copyright © 2009 by Tom Chester.
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Updated 21 January 2009.