San Diego Trails: Borrego’s Calcite Mine Trail

San Diego Trails: Borrego’s Calcite Mine Trail

If you’re looking for a trail with a definite difference, then Borrego’s Calcite Mine Trail could be just what you’re looking for. This amazing trail Anzo-Borrego’s trail certainly has lots to offer – the beauty of the desert, incredible vast views, painted hills, history and some superb cool slot canyons.

Borrego’s Calcite Mine Trail starts as it means to go on, with the enormous Salton Sea lying at the trail head, an unbelievable 228 feet below sea level (how does that work – amazing).  There are markers dotted around to keep you up to date on the remarkable history of the mine, in fact it was a working mine until 1945.

Borrego’s Calcite Mine Trail is around a 4 mile round trip, so you need to allow a good couple of hours. The road is quite rocky in places, great for hiking and walking, but do beware that four wheel drive vehicles can also travel along it.  The trail then drops down into the more sandy Palm Wash valley before climbing up a narrow ridge towards the actual Calcite Mine area. Walking along the ridge you’ll notice the wonderful colors of the strata of the sandstone, not to mention the granite hills which rise high above the floor of the valley.  Once you get to the end of the trail (there’s a sign there to tell you you’ve reached it) you’ll notice lots of evidence of mining with plenty of holes and trenches carved from the sandstone cliffs. You’ll also notice the absolutely breathtaking views of the Salton Sea, the Borrego Badlands and imposing Borrego Mountain.

Finding the Borrego Calcite Mine Trail

Head east from Borrego Springs on the S-22 towards mile marker 38, on the north side of the road there’s a great parking area, then you need to follow the narrow footpath from the northeast corner, along the north side of the road until you come across the history marker for Calcite Mine, then head off along the dirt road trail.

Told you to watch out for the vehicles didn’t I, but boy it’s all worth it. It’s absolutely amazing.

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