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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
Diablo Dropoff is surrounded by a network of trails in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. How hard this obstacle/trail is depends greatly upon weather conditions and seismic activity. The first time I went through Diablo Dropoff in 2012, the dropoff was heavily eroded and rutted.This gradually got worse until the dropoff was impassable due to part of the trail collapsing. Sometime later, the trail was restored and the dropoff was pretty mild. As always, the trail is gradually degrading and becoming more interesting to drive through. After going down the dropoff, there a few rocky washes and the trail gets easy again. A good stock 4×4 with some ground clearance should be able to make it through the trail.
Even without the trail being difficult though, the views are spectacular and worth taking a look at even if you don’t drive all the way through. Since their is a lot of seismic activity in the area, don’t spend to much time in the mud caves or under overhangs. Rainstorms can also cause the cliffs to collapse. From the southern end, this trail can be reached by taking S-2, exiting onto Canyon Sin Nombre, heading north and turning right onto Arroyo Seco Del Diablo after about five miles, then turning right after seeing the sign for Diablo Dropoff after about six miles. There are other ways of reaching this trail, which I will happily type up about in due time or for anyone who asks. Here are some of the pictures, look on this page for the rest of them. Enjoy!