Tag: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Culp Valley Road

Culp Valley Road is an easy trail with no significant obstacles to note that any truck with some ground clearance should be able to pass through. The western end of this trail starts in Ranchita at Old Wilson Valley Road and heads east where it ends at S-22. This road passes through the transition zone between the mountains (~4000 ft) and desert floor near Borrego Springs. According to Google Maps this road doesn’t exist but if you’re going out to this area you should really have some good maps (if you’re frugal like me) or a SD card loaded up with some trail data for your Lowrance GPS unit (if you’re a big spender). The eastern edge of this trail passes through the Paroli Homestead (of which not much remains), a long abandoned ranch that a family was able to eek out a survival on for a few years. Enjoy the photos and videos and look for the rest of them here on the dedicated page!

Western starting location


Culp Valley Cultural Preserve (PDF)

A Cahuilla Village in the Boulders of an Upland Valley


Oriflamme Canyon

I posted a page about the trail through Oriflamme Canyon a while ago and recently went through again to take some high-quality video footage of it. I’ll post up some pictures later of a hike through a small portion of the Pacific Crest Trail along with a nightmare recovery involving a class A motorhome. Enjoy the video

Recovering a broken Tacoma

I was driving through EC 193 and then turned onto Fish Creek east in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and passed by a couple of Tacoma owners. I decided to stop when I saw that one of them was having some major problems. Once I got close to it I could see that he had broken the bead on the right-front tire and snapped his passenger side tie-rod. He was going approximately 40 MPH through the wash when he swerved to miss some oncoming trucks and hit an embankment. We did what we could to keep the tire from moving freely but we had no solid object to pin it with. It was a long and slow 12 miles to a solid trail where the help he called from San Diego could take care of him.

Approximately where I found the broken Taco at:

EC 193 close     EC 193

I dropped the broken Taco off at the juction of the railroad and EC 193:


The repetitive slapping sound you hear at some points of the video is the right-front tire hitting the cab and frame. No matter though, 401 ft-lbs was able to drag the broken Tacoma through mud. It just took some gentle tugs.

EC 287 and 400

The trails of EC 287 and EC 400 are just two of many trails that wind through Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The closest paved road is CA-98, which runs to the south of and parallel to I-8. Some of the trail signs will say “Custom Road X” or “Roy’s Road” or are simply to full of bullets holes (or sun-bleached) to read.

The trails and the area around them are open desert and suitable for any truck with some ground clearance. In many parts the road is graded and packed; most likely for the Border Patrol agents that guard the area. Many of the trails in the area lead straight to the border and you will pass by some Border Patrol agents and if you’re lucky like me, no illegal immigrants or smugglers will pass by you. Enjoy the videos!

Approximate location


Some people should just stick with driving on the street…


Fish Creek

I’ve documented an off-road jaunt through the Diablo Dropoff and Fish Creek already but this time I got more video. I started this trail about an hour before sunset so I actually have some video going all the way to the Wind Caves now. The first mile and a half after the Diablo Dropoff is tight and rocky with everything after that being pretty tame. Enjoy the videos!


The Wind Caves

The Wind Caves are in the eastern end of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park along Fish Creek. The closest paved road is Split Mountain Road just a few miles to the east. For detailed directions and trail descriptions look to my page on the Diablo Dropoff and Fish Creek. Most any vehicle should be able to reach the Wind Caves from the eastern end, provided you drive slowly and carefully. The geological formations in this area are simply mesmerizing. I’ll have to take some more photos of the area in the future but for now look for them on this page. Enjoy!


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EC 119, 158, and West Mortero Wash

EC 119 (also known as Dos Cabezas Road) is one of the many trails winding through Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. I-8 or CA-78 can be used to reach S-2 which is the nearest paved road. The junction between I-8 and S-2 is about four miles to the southeast of where this trail begins. The San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway runs along this trail and there’s even an abandoned rail station along the route. EC 158 branches off of EC 119 and heads back east to S-2. The views of the desert, mountains, and gorges are simply stunning. Be wary of illegal immigrants and smugglers; do not go hiking along the tracks.



EC 119

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West Mortero Wash

Find the rest of the photos and video footage here. Enjoy!

Note: Sometimes, the truck doesn’t come out unscathed.

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Vallecito Creek, Arroyo Seco, and the Diablo Dropoff.

Vallecito Creek is just one of the many washes that pass through Anza-Borrego. It can be reached from the west via S-2 and is about 20 miles north of I-8. It can also reached from the east via the many trails that connect to it. Vallecito Creek heads east and reaches Arroyo Tapaido. Arroyo Tapaido either heads north to a dead end or loops back around south to reach Arroyo Seco del Diablo. The Diablo Dropoff and Fish Creek jut off to the east and eventually lead you towards Split Mountain Road and Ocotillo Wells. I didn’t take any separate photos of some of these trails but rather just took screenshots of the video to give you an quick idea of the environment. Look for all of the corresponding videos and pictures in the links below. Enjoy!

Vallecito Creek

Arroyo Seco del Diablo

The Diablo Dropoff and Fish Creek

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It can get narrow…


Anza-Borrego Mud Caves

I’ll be posting up some video from trails I went through on the same day I took this video, but for now I’ll just post up about the Mud Caves. In Anza-Borrego Desert State Park there are a large network of caves that you can walk and crawl through. Obviously, they can get dark so don’t forget your flashlight. There’s also a lot of seismic activity in the area so the cliff sides and caves are not a good place to camp out. I traversed a single cave with a small group of friends for about an hour; it would take quite a long time to explore the cave system in detail.

The closest paved road to the Mud Caves is S-2 (reached from the south via I-8 and the north via CA-78), then take Vallecito Creek east, and then head north a few miles along Arroyo Tapaido. During the cooler months of the year there will be a lot of tourists so it’s pretty hard to miss.


If you’re not into four-wheeling like I am this is another fun activity you can enjoy in the desert. There really is a lot of beauty (and life in some spots) in the desert. Enjoy the photos and video footage; find the rest of it here!

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Rodriguez Canyon

Rodriguez Canyon is an easy trail southeast of Julian, CA. Rodriguez Canyon can be accessed from the northern end from CA-78 at the end of Banner Grade or from the south along S-2 (north of mile post 27). Rodriguez Canyon runs to the parallel and to the eastern side of Oriflamme Canyon. This trail is of slightly moderate difficulty; any good truck or 4×4 with some ground clearance will make it through with no problem. At the time I went through there was no snow though it is possible for some to accumulate. There are a number of private roads and land around the area so be careful not to trespass. Enjoy the photos and video footage and look for the rest of them here! I’ve also started a build page for the Toyota Tundra that I recently purchased for any who are curious.

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