On this daring adventure, Big Johnson was accompanied by
Stu Pidasol
(Seat Cushion Tester & Taller Mechanico)
Hugh Jorgan
(Shovel / Jack Expert & Tow Strap Developement)

They started in Pacific Beach & headed to Julian, CA. They drove north to the top of Banner Canyon on
Rt 78. From there it's a long, winding downhill grade heading Southeast through the Banner Canyon. They
turned off the road to the right just before the Banner General Store continuing Southeast into Chariot
Canyon. This is a long, steady climb suitable for most 4x4 vehicles with good ground clearance. There has
been some recent rain & parts of the trail are washed out but manageable. They worked their way around
Chariot Mountain before starting the steep decent into Oriflamme Canyon. This section is pretty severe
with a good deal of erosion & loose rocks. It would be much more difficult from the Southern approach.
It is very steep & loose with tight switchbacks.
Inexperienced off-roaders should avoid this route!
Chariot Canyon
The desert was in full bloom in May after the April showers.
Notice the working mine in the upper left.
We think they must be mining semi-precious gem stones.
The abandoned Chariot mine.
Can you see the ghost in the photo below?
A recent fire in this area burned all the trees.
This helped to fertilize the soil & shed sun on the canyon floor
so that the lower plant life could flourish.
Walking the route to check out what lies ahead
is always a good idea.
Prickly Pear Cactus
From the top of Banner Canyon @ 1400'
our gallant trio had decended to 700' then
back up to 1200' in about 6 miles. Now
they will decend back down to 700' above
sea level.
Exiting Oriflamme Canyon looking towards Blair Valley
Desert Daisys >>>>>
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