||See Area D-4: Santa Rosa Mountains, Trip 8: Calcite Mine, near Salton Sea, in Schad's book (c '99, pp.277-278, map on p. 267) for hike details.
This hike is located in the NE part of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, just off of the Borrego-Salton Seaway (County Highway S-22), northeast of Borrego Springs. It's about a 2 hr. 20 min. drive from San Diego, east on I-8, north on highway 79 to Julian, east on highway 78 into the desert....well, you get the picture. (Check the Maps page of this website for more directions and a map to print out.) Park in the roadside turnout at mile 38.0 along Highway S-22. We'll plan to meet there at 11:15 am and start hiking about 11:30. The parking area out there has a readily visible call box, and is located about one-half mile west of the obvious microwave tower.
The area has chaotic rock formations and slotlike ravines, along with deep scars from trench-mining operations. During WWII, it was the only site in the US that provided optical-grade calcite crystals for use in gunsights. We'll see small calcite crystals strewn about on the ground, glittering in the sunlight, and pocked slabs of sandstone near the mining trenches. We'll also squeeze thru a fun and fascinating slot canyon during the hike. The hike will be about 4 miles roundtrip, with an elevation gain/loss of 800' and will take us about 2 1/2 hrs. hiking time, plus breaks.
As many of you know, our hikes are NEVER dull, and this one should prove no exception. So bring plenty of water/sports drinks, sunscreen and munchies, and your camera. You WILL be impressed by the area, as well as the beautiful drive to get there. Be sure to check out the 3 pages of photos from our last hike out there a year ago. Their links are on our home page under "02-18-01 Calcite Mine".