Tag Archives: Anza-Borrego Desert State Wilderness

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 

Borrego Palm Canyon

ANZA-BORREGO DESERT STATE WILDERNESS

Activity: Day Hike

3 miles, 462’ elevation gain, 90 minute duration, rated Moderate

Date: 3-7-22

My son, Alec, and I started our Spring Break Adventure to Anza-Borrego California State Park by going to the Visitor Center. On the way to the Visitor Center we spied some of the cool looking metal sculptures that I had heard about. We did the tourist thing and snapped a couple pictures by the Wild Horses and by Big Bird. My understanding is these are the handy work of artist Ricardo Breceda and that there are some 130 of these works of art scattered throughout the desert. We got to checkout a few of them, but perhaps on another trip to Anza-Borrego we will try to search them out. Some are easily assessable to the road others are hidden away further out into the desert.

We made a quick stop to the Visitor Center and talked to the Ranger confirming some of the things we wanted to experience during our visit. The area of the Visitor Center and the nearby hike that we did had a $10 parking fee. One of the hikes that the Ranger suggested was Borrego Palm Canyon.

Borrego Palm Canyon is a short hike. The trail is well maintained and is one of the most popular in the park. We found it to be a really pretty spot with the desert hills and mountains surrounding us. Alec and I really enjoyed this gorgeous area. It really gave us a feel for Anza-Borrego and I would recommended it for the whole family. There were lots of different rocks to scamper on and a trickling stream.

Unfortunately we did not know much about the hike when we were doing it. We entered the trail, which turned out to be a loop, from the exit so we missed all the information that was posted. So we failed to include the oasis, which was a bummer, but as it turns out a fire in 2020 damaged the palm oasis spot so perhaps we didn’t miss anything. We heard that it might be closed for rehabilitation.

Really a beautiful hike that should not be missed. Bring water, a snack, sun tan lotion, and a hat- it’s hot, it’s the desert.

The Sculptures of Anza Borrego are the art work of Ricardo Breceda and there are about a 130 of them scattered throughout the desert. We got to see a few of them, but maybe a 4×4 scavenger hunt is in the future.
“Simplicity is the heart of everything. If you look to the desert, apparently the desert is very simple but it’s full of life, it’s full of hidden places and the beauty is that it looks simple but it’s complex in the way that it expresses the soul of the world or God.” – Paulo Coelho

Thanks for joining Alec and I as we began out vacation in Anza-Borrego State Park by ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ in this desert canyon of wonder. There is alway more to come so stay with us by performing a few easy but important exercises: COMMENT, LIKE. FOLLOW and SHARE. We are wearing some PBTA Adventure Wear in the photos get yours at SHOP APPAREL. If you peruse the menu above you will see that the deserts of San Diego are but one type of adventures enjoyed by PBTA. The menu is categorized by location and sometimes by activity each of these locations throughout this great West of ours is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure