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"Anza Borrego Mud Caves"
Posted by russ  Mar 28 2006, 12:45 AM    (View all contributions by russ)
11 photo(s) included at bottom of page
We had recently heard of the mud caves out in the Anza Borrego desert, so today we decided to go find some, and do some exploring. Using "Afoot and Afield in San Diego County", we found a hike that claimed to bring us to the mud caves. Although we just sort of used it as a general guide. We didn't need to hike, rather we just had to do some light off roading to get to them (in a car). But it was not a problem for my Altima, as the "roads" were in decent condition.

To get there, take 8 East from San Diego to Imperial County, then get off and go north on S2, also called Imperial Highway. When you get to mile marker 43, turn off to the east where it says Palm Springs or Vallecito Wash. Follow that about 4.5 miles and you will see a sign that says Arroyo Tapiado. Turn left there (or north or something like that), and just follow the wash/road until you get to where it looks like there might be caves. If it sounds vague, it's because it is. Eventually you will reach a point where you can't drive any more, but before that you will probably see at least a few other cars. Supposedly there are specific caves, but really you just have to look for where it looks like there is a hole or a groove or a little canyon, and just walk in and explore.

Be sure if you want to go into some of the more interesting caves that you have a flashlight or a headlamp... for each person. We made the mistake of having only one, and while it was ok, if have any problems with the dark or small spaces you will need your own light. And dark is very dark when you are in a hole that has no natural light in it.


View inside one of the small caves
View inside one of the small caves
Interesting hills
Interesting hills
Me in front of hills
Me in front of hills
Small mud cave entrance
Small mud cave entrance
Me on hill... shows how big these hills and caves really are
Me on hill... shows how big these hills and caves really are
Inside an open cave, notice the mud strata
Inside an open cave, notice the mud strata
There is actually life in the desert
There is actually life in the desert
Climbing out of Imperial Valley
Climbing out of Imperial Valley
desert view
desert view
Heading back to San Diego, coming out of the desert
Heading back to San Diego, coming out of the desert
Huge rocks and boulders on the side of the freeway
Huge rocks and boulders on the side of the freeway