Mine Wash

Total Miles
4.7

Elevation

732.32 ft

Duration

2 Hours

Technical Rating

3

Easy

Best Time

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Trail Overview

Mine Wash is a 9.6-mile out-and-back trail rated 3 of 10 within the California Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The state park is a "Stay the Trail" area and the trail is restricted to street-legal vehicles. Although the trail can be driven 4.8 miles into the Pinyon Mountains to a turnaround point, most travelers only ride about 1-5 miles to the site of the Kumeyaay village, a native tribe in the area that dates back over 10,000 years. The Kumeyaay, referred to as Diegueno by the Spanish, were the original native inhabitants of San Diego County. They were the only group in the area and the first people who greeted the Spanish when they first sailed into San Diego Harbor with the Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo expedition of 1542. There is an interpretive sign at the site and the area is open to foot exploration. The wash has several Kumeyaay morteros, the most prominent of which are located in the vicinity of the sign. Morteros are depressions in stone that developed after years of use by Kumeyaay women for grinding beans, nuts, or seeds. The sandy trail crosses the Mescal Bajada, named for the abundance of desert agave found here. It is suitable for stock SUVs, but like most desert trails, conditions change with the weather and seasons. The monsoon season has done some damage and the trail is a bit rougher than expected, although still easy to navigate. Four-wheel drive is not necessary, but you will want a high-clearance vehicle. At the trail end, it is possible to walk west and join a trail across the North Pinyon Mountains which joins the California Riding and Hiking Trail in Earthquake Valley, but vehicular travel beyond the signage is prohibited. The nearest services are located in Borrego Springs to the north.

Photos of Mine Wash

Mine Wash
Mine Wash
Mine Wash

Difficulty

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

History

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is a California State Park located within the Colorado Desert of southern California, United States. The park takes its name from 18th-century Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and the Spanish word borrego, which literally means "lamb" but is also used to describe the desert bighorn sheep. With nearly 600,000 acres, it is the largest state park in California as well as the 48 contiguous states. The park has varied topography that includes dry lake beds, badlands, and mountains that rise above 5,500 feet (1,675 meters). Two-thirds of the park's area is designated as wilderness, and cactus, yucca, and ocotillo are abundant throughout. Among the park's attractions are groves of California fan palms and a profusion of wildflowers that bloom in mid-to-late winter. Deer, kit foxes, iguanas, rattlesnakes, roadrunners, eagles, and the endangered desert bighorn sheep are all found within the park.

Technical Rating

3

Status Reports

There are no status reports yet for this trail.

Access Description

Mine Wash is accessed via State Road 78 roughly 6 miles west of the Borrego Springs Road intersection.

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