Pico Risco Mexican DPS Peak From Guadalupe Canyon Hot Springs

  • Updated: January 12, 2014
  • Post By: Matthew Hengst

January 12th, 2014
Pico Risco (4,987')

After yesterdays extremely long day and somewhat disappointing peak behind a dump we were enjoying the Guadalupe Canyon Hot Springs much better.

While we didn't get up until late and we only had 4 or 5 hours of sleep it had certainly been worth it.

And now we had a much more scenic peak towering above us.

Pico Risco isn't the highpoint of the range and I can only guess that it made the list just because it looks awesome from the hot spring.

The hot spring itself is rather lush and a neat area for all the pain it took getting there.

The tub we'd been in last night looked even better in the daylight.

We hadn't made reservations ahead of time figuring we could get away with the usual just show up and find something.

http://www.guadalupe-canyon.com/campsite/campmap.html has the best overall view.   We were camped between La Cueva (which wasn't filled) and the flush toilet and we walked out to El Mirador.  We probably would have ended up at El Sol except we found a tent set up there and didn't want to crowd him.

Turns out the campground is divided up between two brothers and we were on the closed Arturo side.  We met the guy who ran the other side on our way out.

We had one person who was too beat from the day before and decided to hang around in camp.  So while the rest of us were sweating and bushwhacking he had a pleasant time napping and getting a walking tour from one of the owners.

The rest of us were still tired but got ourselves moving only a bit slower than usual.  This meant we weren't out until 10 am.

The trail starts at the end of the campsites where numerous ducks and footpaths spider along up the canyon.

It gets interesting once you see this sign.

We went past it making the move you see above only to decide we should have left the canyon and cut up immediately to the left.  We took this way coming down and it was a much better route though there is a bit of route finding and scrambling to it.

Once we were out of the main canyon we scrambled towards the peak aiming for the righthand gully.

There was some interesting scrambling mixed in with generally slow terrain.  The guide says 8 hours, we took 12, and the the going was slow.

From here the summit ridge was actually a little more interesting.  There were ducks around but we had to explore before we found a combination of a few small tunnels, a chimney, and brief drop down to the far side that brought us to the actual summit block.

And there is a small step across to get to the actual summit.

It's actually a little worse going down since the divide is a little deep.  Note the look of joy.

We didn't spend long at the summit despite how nice the view was since we knew we were going to be hiking down in the dark again.

We got down sometime around 10 and went about packing up.  Most of us went into the hot spring again in the middle of changing which was a rather nice way to end the day.

We took the 2 west through numerous toll stations and the military checkpoint we'd visited the day before eventually reaching Tiujana and crossing near 2 am after stopping for gas.

On the plus side the line was shorter.

On the downside there was still a line and it was getting hard to stay awake.

From there we were back in the states and we arrived back at the carpool in Orange County a little before 5 am.

So in the end we had 48 hours, 2 peaks, and 4 hours of sleep in our quick little weekend jaunt down to Mexico.  Pescadores wasn't my favorite desert peak but all of us agreed we'd happily spend more time at the hot springs below Pico Risco.

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