Anza-Borrego North Geology: Borrego Badlands

Sunrise over the Borrego Badlands

solitude in the borrego badlands

Solitude in the Borrego Badlands

The Borrego Badlands extend northward from Highway 78 in Anza-Borrego Central to the Santa Rosa Mountains in Anza-Borrego North.

Caution: Unpaved roads and their roadsides in the Borrego Badlands area can be extremely sandy. Four-wheel drive is always recommended, sometimes mandatory, when you leave the pavement.

Access points from County Road S-22 (Pegleg Road and Borrego-Salton Seaway) include the following:

Old Springs Road
This short road to the county dump leads to jeep trails (4WD only) which can be driven or hiked to points in the Borrego Badlands, including Mammoth Cove, Inspiration Point, and Borrego Sink. More.
Beckman Wash (North)
This jeep trail is a right turn (south) off the Borrego-Salton Seaway at mile 27. The road sign is several yards from the highway. The road leads southward to the badlands, then turns westward. The road here is quite narrow for several yards. It then goes past Mammoth Cove and a turnoff to a Bishop's Tuff deposit, to the Pegleg Road stretch of S-22.

driving in the borrego badlands

Inspiration Wash
This jeep trail goes south to Inspiration Point, then west to the county dump and Pegleg Road. More.
Fonts Wash
The 5-mile drive to Fonts Point is one of the area's most popular, especially to watch the sunset or (to a lesser extent) the sunrise. Drive carefully, however. The sands can be deep and difficult. More.
Thimble Trail - Short Wash - Vista del Malpais
This jeep trail from mile 31.9 crosses and passes several fault scarps. It ends at Short Wash which extends from Font's Wash on the west to Palo Verde Wash to the east. Turn east at Short Wash to reach the popular Vista del Malpais.
Palo Verde Wash
Palo Verde trees beside S-22 mark the start of the Palo Verde Wash jeep trail which bends southward into the Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area. The trail is joined by Ella Wash and Short Wash.
Truckhaven Rocks
North of S-22 at the foot of the Santa Rosa Mountains.
Call Box S22-364
A short circular drive here affords views of the Borrego Badlands from your car.
Ella Wash
A short sandy trail from the Borrego Salton Seaway to Palo Verde Wash at the edge of the Borrego Badlands. More.
Arroyo Salado Wash
Begins with a primitive camp off the Borrego-Salton Seaway. Continues to Truckhaven Trail, Seventeen Palms, and south to Highway 78. More.
Calcite Mine Road
Departs the Borrego-Salton Seaway opposite Call Box S22-382. Crosses the South Fork of Palm Wash and continues 1.5 miles to the former Calcite Mine. Caution: High-clearance 4WD only. More.
Palm Wash (North Fork and South Fork)
Palm Wash extends from below the Calcite Mine to the Salton Sea. The South Fork has some notable concretions within walking distance of the Calcite Mine Road and ends at a slot canyon. The North Fork can be hiked to some sheep tanks.
Truckhaven Trail
The section leaving the Borrego-Salton Seaway at Call Box S22-382 leads to a remarkable area of concretions known as Cannonball Wash. More.
Tectonic Gorge
In Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area, off the Borrego Salton Seaway at Cut Across Trail. Leads westward to the Borrego Badlands. Outstanding concretions. More.