||Palm Wash/Sheep Tanks/Calcite Mine Area/Slot Canyons Hike
NOTE: Weather permitting, we'll follow thru with this hike. But with winter storms and rainfalls, we'll have to cancel if it's raining out in the Borrego Springs area on this day. (Can't risk flash floods in the slot canyons.) Click HERE to check 10-day weather forcasts for Borrego Springs area before the hike. It may be sprinkling in San Diego, but sunny in the desert. And, as usual, we require each hiker to bring their own appropriate hiking gear, food, and sports drinks. Be sure to do your "carb loading" before the hike by eating a good meal/healthy snack and drinking liquids, avoiding dehydration and fatigue. Carb loading the day before is useful, too. And if you leave the hike early, please notify the hike leader directly, so there's no question that you may have gotten lost or injured along the way. Remember... Safety first.
See Area D-4:, Trip 9, Santa Rosa Mts., in Schad's book (c '98, p.266, 278-279, map on p. 267) for hike details. *** degree of difficulty out of a possible *****. This hike is 7.0 miles roundtrip and will take about 4 hours to complete. Elevation gain/loss is about 900'.
This hike is located in the NE part of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. (Check the Maps page of this website for more directions and maps to print out.) We'll plan to meet there at 11:30 am and start hiking about 11:45.
The parking area for the hike is on the north side of Highway S-22 (Borrego Salton Seaway), at Mile 38.0, due east/northeast of Borrego Springs. Turn off at mile 38, to your left, into the turnout parking area. The parking area out there has a readily visible call box, and is located about one-half mile west of the obvious microwave tower. (If you go past the microwave tower, you've gone too far.)
This hike takes place at the SE end of the Santa Rosa Mountains and brings us up into chaotic rock formations and thru slot canyons (slot-shaped ravines). Stopping for lunch up near Locomotive Rock, a honeycombed slab of whitish sandstone, you'll have a sweeping view of hundreds of square miles of mountains and desert. We'll explore the surface trench mines where optical-grade calcite crystals were mined for use in gunsights during WWII. Traversing single-file thru the slot canyons is always a unique experience and these are some of the best in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park! GPS devices are useful on this hike, so if you have one, bring it along for the practice. ;^) It's also possible to create your waypoints ahead of time from info. provided on Google Earth.