If you are ever in the Anza Borrego desert..you just GOTTA go explore the Mud caves
Quoting from the website: "One of the most fascinating points of interest in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park are the Arroyo Tapiado Mud Caves. Arroyo Tapiado, translated from Spanish, means “walled wash.” The Mud Caves are found along the walls of this wash canyon. One of the most extensive mud cave systems in the world, they contain approximately 22 known caves and 9 slot canyons.
The length of the caves varies, with some extending over 1000 feet and featuring ceilings as high as 80 feet. Caves have been reported up to 35 feet wide, and others so narrow, you have to squeeze through openings. Multi-level caves with skylights have been found, where erosion has created an opening, or sinkhole, in the ceiling of the cave. Some of the caves are fairly easy to navigate while others may require you to crawl in sections.
4WD is recommended. Some non-4WD vehicles have driven into the beginning of the canyon, but to drive through the canyon you will need 4WD.
The Arroyo Tapiado Mud Caves are located in the southern part of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
-Take the S2 (from the 8 head North) to mile marker 43
-Take the Palm Springs or Vallecito Wash exit (dirt road heading East)
-Approximately 4.5 miles in, you will see a sign that says Arroyo Tapiado (on the left)
-Go left at the Arroyo Tapiado Wash which will be heading North
-Continue on Arroyo Tapiado Wash Road until you reach the canyon area where the caves are located. ""
This place was just the coolest ever! I can't wait to go back again and spend more time 'spelunking' heheheeh.. there were just so many to explore.. it would be great to camp right outside the cave entrance so that you can explore all day and then at dusk watch the bats fly out of them!!!
We encountered a 4wheel Toyota group of about 10 vehicles making their way thru the trails and to Diablo Drop Off.. there was even a spot along the way that we called the 'squeeze' because of huge rocks in the way..and we had to squeeze, climb and make our way over a verrrrrry tight, scary place. But, we made it and didn't get stuck! Can't say that for the Toyota group.. a few had to be wenched and towed out of the sand!! heheehe snicker..
After a couple of nites in the desert..we stopped at Vail Lake on the way home and spent the nite there. Here we got to enjoy the sounds of coyotes off in the distance..the hooting of the Owls, and the tap-tap-tapping of the Woodpecker in a nearby tree :)
In the morning..as I wandered over to the riding stables that they have on the Vail Lake property to pet the ponies :) ... i came upon a pack of coyotes all frolicking around the pond! I think there were about 6-7 of them.. playing..and running around..and investigating the edge of the pond! I could only get a couple of pics of them.. before I scared them off :(
Hope you enjoy the slideshow...and I hope you get a chance to get away for a weekend and Explore :)