Mud Caves of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Today, at around 10 am, Yuma and I headed out in search of the Mud Caves of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.  They are located in the southern section of the park and it took me about an hour and a half to get there.  I am going to let the link above explain how these mud caves and slot canyons were created.

The directions I got off the Internet were very precise or I would never have found them.  I took S22 through Borrego Springs and right as I get to the mountains, the road makes a 90 degree turn and goes straight up the mountain.

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The scenery going up the mountain was magnificent.  I can’t really describe how beautiful going up the switchbacks at 30 miles an hour was.  I did stop and take a few photos of the valley below, but the most beautiful part was what was all around me as I climbed the mountain.

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Unfortunately, I only brought one camera with me today, and I soon discovered the battery was dead.  What a bummer!  Luckily, I do have my cell phone but couldn’t use it driving to take photos.  I really had to keep my eyes on the road or I wouldn’t be here.

We followed S22, passing through the small hamlet of Ranchita.  I hit S2 on the other side of the mountains.  The scenery was much different over here.  Trees and grass everywhere.  No more desert. 

I turned left and followed S2 until it hit highway 78 and then made a right turn and went through Box Canyon and then made a left turn back on S2 once again.  This went for about 30 miles to mile marker 43.  Then I followed a wash for approximately 5 miles making a left turn on another wash named Arroyo Tapiado.  This wash led me to the mud caves and mud slot canyons. 

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Yuma and I walked into several mud caves.  One of them we went in about 500 feet.  Luckily, I brought several flashlights with me.  Nothing but blackness with a flashlight cutting through it.  The caves zig zagged through the mountain. 

Of course, there are warnings telling you not to go into the caves because they can easily cave in since they are only made of mud, but everyone does anyway.  Just hope we don’t have one of those California earthquakes today.

This is Yuma in the cave and me taking a flash photo.

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There were skylights in the cave that would let light in. This photo is me and Yuma in the cave under a skylight.

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Here is Yuma going in a cave and one of him coming out.

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The remaining photos are of the mud slot canyons we walked in.  They went on forever, so we would walk for awhile and then turn back.  Went through about three slot canyons like this.

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On the way home, I stopped at Christmas Circle so Yuma could see grass for the first time.  He loved it.

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It was a long day.  We left camp at around 10 am and didn’t get back till 6 pm, so we are tired.  Luckily, we were able to drive right up to the caves and slot canyons, so didn’t do miles of walking today, thank goodness.

See you later.

19 comments:

  1. The canyons are beautiful! How did Yuma like the grass?

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    1. Yuma loved smelling the grass and running around on it. Not sure if he has ever seen grass before. Not since I have had him.

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  2. From your directions it sounds like those mud caves are situated in the Vallecito Valley. That's the large sweeping valley I always enjoy looking at from atop Ghost Mountain. S2 running through the valley is the old Butterfield Stage route. We've been down that way but missed the mud caves.

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    1. You're right Al. I went right past Ghost Mountain and the Stagecoach route on S2. The mud caves are full of fine dust that gets into everything. Once, I went through a couple, I had enough of that fine dust.

      Yuma did not like going into the dark caves, but he really enjoyed walking through the mud canyons for some reason. Much more than the rocky canyons. Must be easier on his paws in the soft dust.

      I don't know if you have ever been up the mountains behind Borrego Springs, on S22 but I thought that was just a beautiful drive. Will have to do again when I have the proper cameras with me.

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  3. Doug, there are mud geysers somewhere down by the Salton Sea. I've seen photos of them, but you'll have to google their position.
    And, yes, did Yuma enjoy the grass?

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    1. I think I have had enough dust and mud for awhile Cheryl Ann. I think today I will look for flowers and greenery if I can find it. Yuma seems to like the soft green grass, so will need to stop at Christmas Circle again. There are beautiful flowers there too.

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  4. I love the photo of you and Yuma with the skylight.

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    1. Thank you Jan. I took one with me and Yuma in the darkness with the flash and there was so much dust in the air, it made it look like we were in a fog. I guess the flash picks up all the dust particles. And we were breathing it in, ugh. Sure didn't need any moose to hold my hair after our hike.

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  5. I find it amazing that the "mud" doesn't wash out in the big monsoons. I'll have to read the link :-) Looks like a fun place to explore. Glad Yuma loved the grass (wouldn't you love to know what he was thinking?)

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    1. Yes, I do, Jodee. He looks so intelligent, there are many times I wonder what he is thinking. There was a large group of young men and women at the caves and they were having the greatest time crawling into the small cave entrances and exploring all the crevices. That was a few of them at the top of the canyon.

      I still remember the day when I would have been doing the same thing. I loved caves. Yesterday, I went into a couple, but the fire to crawl into caves has gone out for me.

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  6. I noticed in this an a previous post that the brittle bushes are in full bloom! They sure are pretty.

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    1. Yes they are, Hazel. I had forgotten their name, but they are now bright yellow in many places. I hope to get out today in search of flowering plants.

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  7. What an interesting outing for you and Yuma. Love that picture of the two of you. Until I read the comments, I thought you had the caves and slots all to yourselves. I think the dust would bother me after a while in the area where you are but it sure sounds fascinating.

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    1. Sorry Sherry. Even thou this place is remote on this day there were lots of people all over the area. There were three rented vans full of college kids all geared up and exploring. Fun to watch their energy.

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    2. Sorry Sherry. Even thou this place is remote on this day there were lots of people all over the area. There were three rented vans full of college kids all geared up and exploring. Fun to watch their energy.

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  8. Great pics dad! Yuma seems to enjoy all the adventures!

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  9. I think the mud canyons, slot canyons and caves are all beautiful! Yuma is very photogenic.

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  10. I think the mud canyons, slot canyons and caves are all beautiful! Yuma is very photogenic.

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  11. Hi Doug, I've been enjoying your adventures in Anza-Borrego. Can you get to the slot canyons in a regular pickup our do you need 4wd?

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