Carrizo Gorge Wilderness

Carrizo Gorge Wilderness is located between McCain Valley BLM, the Jacumba Wilderness and extreme southwestern Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in California. Located in this wilderness is Goat Canyon Trestle, a 180 foot high railroad bridge over a deep gorge requiring a 15 mile hike on railroad tracks that passes through tunnels along the way. Bighorn Sheep frequent the location, and there are several groves of native California Fan Palms. It is accessed by a dirt road in a very remote area with no cellphone service of any kind. This area gets extremely hot in summer.  Late winter and early spring is the best time to go for wildflowers.

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Desert Agave

Desert Agave is an important source of food and moisture for desert wildlife, as it was for Native Americans, who also used it to make textiles, rope, weapons, glue and medicines and more. Most reproduction occurs via rhizomes, but some sexual reproduction does occur. After approximately 10-12 years of existing as a basal rosette of fleshy, pointed leaves, Desert Agave shoots up a flower stalk as high as 50 ft and blooms for the first time. The flowers atop the stalk produce two chemicals only necessary to attract the Lesser Long Nosed Bat, which pollinates it in a symbiotic relationship with the plant. After blooming, the entire plant dies. Historical and modern poaching of the plant for bootleg tequila has reduced this plant's distribution. It occurs primarily in patchy locations in upper elevations of the Sonoran desert in California, extreme southern Arizona and Mexico.

Desert Agave plant in the Anza Borrego desert

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