Arroyo Tapiado Mud Caves

ANZA-BORREGO DESERT STATE PARK

Activity: 4×4, Hiking, Spelunking

Date: 3-7-22

We took our 4 Runner TRD Pro to the mud caves. You might make it in a regular car, but then again you could bottom out on a rock, or get stuck in the soft sand. 

We checked out the first couple things that we saw, which were not the main event.  They were interesting but… We hiked up the hill a bit in a couple places. There were drop offs into a large vertical hole that we could not see a bottom from where we were. 

When my son Alec and I got to the actual cave it was a little disguised as it is not a large opening. Once we ducked inside it opened up and I was left with one word, “whoa…” I have to say although they were fascinating and very cool that this was the sketchiest cave, cavern, or mine I have ever been in as the whole place was made of what seemed to be the consistency of a dirt clod. 

It was crazy.  This cave of dried mud made twists and turns back and forth.  Some times there were places that the light shined in, but mostly you were in pitch darkness. Alec and I were well armed with a flashlight and a powerful head lamp so we had adequate illumination.  It was pretty spooky with cracks in the dirt walls, as well as places where chunks had crumbled off.  While we were deep inside this mud hill a helicopter flew over and we could hear it pretty well which was freaky me out making me realize this was a big hollow hill of dirt without a lot of density. There were spots that we would come out into the light and then back into this cavern of dirt. The passageway was quite long, and then we emerged snaking our way through a slot canyon of this dried mud, which also was very cool.  At the end of this arid mud maze we climbed up on top and enjoyed a great view of the badlands and distant mountains. 

We did not do the second mud cave which had a large opening. We thought we had done one, it was great fun, we loved it, but this one must be similar.  I decided that we had pushed our luck enough as it was.  My son and I were the only ones out there and the State Park Rangers warned us how unsafe this place was and that it was cordoned off. Unsafe I would agree, but it was not blocked off.  Probably just that it was not recommended is more like it. The Ranger, that we spoke to at the Visitor’s Center at Borrego Palms, continued trying to dissuade us by mentioning that if we got stuck that Triple A doesn’t come to Anza Borrego. 

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure YouTube Channel.
CLICK THE PIC for the video of inside the cave!
Afterwards we hunted for a spot to camp.
“Adventure: An undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks.”
-Merriam Webster

Thanks for joining Alec and I as we were discovering new places to be ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’.  Being in a cavern of dried mud is certainly a different place, yet we found it exciting and fascinating, a spot that you don’t know what is around the next bend.  Wondrous experiences in nature can certainly recharge one’s batteries and can make getting back to the world of school, and the pressures of making the grade more balanced which is so important.  This was a special time together that Alec and I spent Off-Roading, hiking and adventuring.  Wonderful Father and Son trek.  To aid you in finding your own Wondrous Experience in Nature please say tuned by this manner: LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW and SHARE.  Go to the menu above and you will see that PBTA travels extensively throughout the West on Adventure.  Each location or activity is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently.  SHOP APPAREL can fulfill your Adventure Wear needs with my line adorned with the ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ logo and mantra.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure 

2 thoughts on “Arroyo Tapiado Mud Caves”

    1. Well actually… we went in as far as the mud cave would go. Once you get through the caves it opens up to a canyon maze. The one thing that we did cut back on was going into the second cave that had a larger opening. How different can mud caves be? The idea of hiking inside a dirt clod hill is pretty bizarre that is for sure.

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