EC 19 Table Mountain Road

Total Miles
6.1

Elevation

1,127.62 ft

Duration

1 Hours

Technical Rating

3

Easy

Best Time

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Trail Overview

EC 19 Table Mountain Road is a 6.1-mile point-to-point trail rated 3 of 10 located in San Diego County. EC 19 is also known as Mica Gem Mine Road by locals after the mining group that used to tunnel and quarry this section of road. EC 19 provides the only access to the BLM Open Space area of Table Mountain. This is a BLM-designated "open" trail and can be used by all vehicles. During the first 2 miles of the trail, several old mining sites can be seen. In particular, the caved-in entrance to a below-ground mine and the quarry area to the west. EC 19 extends to the southern boundary of the Table Mountain Wilderness Study Area. Travel beyond the end of this trail is restricted to non-motorized methods of travel. Table Mountain is the most prominent feature in the area. The mountain is hard to miss as it is the only visible mesa (flattop) geological feature in the area. The trail continues north for several more miles intersecting with other El Centro BLM-managed trails. All of the trails in this area will dead-end either at the Table Mountain Wilderness Study Area or at the Carrizo Gorge Wilderness Area. The land surrounding the BLM-managed area is part of the California Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Most days, you will be able to observe vehicle activity up on Table Mountain. Although this is BLM land and you may be enticed to find the path up, it is not recommended. The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol has established an observation and monitoring base on the mountaintop and states that the access is restricted. Cell phone service is intermittent during the first couple of miles and then drops off as you get further into the wilderness. The nearest basic service (gas, shopping) is located in Jacumba Hot Springs. Major services are located west in San Diego. There is considerable private property within one mile of Interstate 8; please respect their privacy.

Difficulty

The trail consists of loose rocks, dirt, and sand with some slick rock surfaces. Mud holes are possible, but there are no steps higher than 12 inches. 4WD may be required, and aggressive tires are a plus.

History

Throughout history, the Kumeyaay Indians, who have inhabited the area perhaps for as long as 2,000 years, had a special reverence for the rocks. In the American period, which began in the 1840s, there was a need for communication between San Diego and points east. At first, it was easy enough for messengers and mule trains to take trails through the rocks of the mountains but, as transportation by stagecoach, wagon, and automobile became an issue, the need for wider roads developed, leading to pathways such as Old Highway 80, State Route 94, and Interstate 8 that circled around the Table Mountain area, leaving it a place of relative peace.

Technical Rating

3

Status Reports

There are no status reports yet for this trail.

Access Description

Take Interstate 8 (exit 73), turn south, and take Carrizo Gorge Road for 1 mile to the Carrizo Creek Road (dirt track on left). Follow Carrizo Creek Rod for 2.2 miles to the interstate underpass which is the start of EC 19.

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