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Wind Caves/Split Mountain
Route

Wind Caves/Split Mountain

 
Wind Caves/Split Mountain

Page Type: Route

Location: California, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 32.99083°N / 116.11242°W

Object Title: Wind Caves/Split Mountain

Route Type: Hiking

Season: Winter

Time Required: Half a day

Difficulty: Hike

Route Quality: 
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Page By: nader

Created/Edited: Jan 17, 2015 / Oct 26, 2017

Object ID: 927481

Hits: 1249 

Page Score: 81.18%  - 13 Votes 

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Overview

Wind Caves refers to a series of sandstone holes and small caves near Fish Creek (Dry) in the eastern parts of California’s Anza Borrego Desert State Park. A short trail goes 250 vertical feet above Split Mountain Road to the Wind Caves. You can follow a beaten path further up to the top of Point 860 ft to get great views of Carrizo Badlands and the desert mountains that rise above them.

Split Mountain is a narrow gorge with a dry wash (Fish Creek) at the bottom of it. The wash is used as a dirt road to reach Wind Caves Trail.


Wind Caves and Split Mountain
Map

Getting There

From the community of Ocotillo on Route 78, turn south onto Split Mountain Road and drive 8 miles to the end of pavement. Turn right onto the dry wash surface and go 1.4 miles to Fish Creek Primitive Campground. Split Mountain Gorge starts here. Drive another 2.7 miles to Wind Caves Trailhead.

The dry wash is officially a four wheel drive road. I drove with 2 wheel drive to the campground and chose to hike through the gorge. The road through the gorge did not seem rough but was sandy. Some sources say you can drive 2 wheel drive through the gorge. Use your judgment.

Route Description

Hike or drive the Fish Creek Dry Wash (Split Mountain) 1.4 miles to the campground where the gorge starts. Continue another 2.7 miles to Wind Caves Trailhead.

Split Mountain Gorger
 
Wall of Split Mountain Gorge
 
Folded layers
 
Start of Split Mountain Gorge
 
Split Mountain Gorge
 
Where Split Mountain Gorge opens up
 
Split Mountain Gorge
 
Split Mountain Gorge
 
Wall of Split Mountain Gorge
 
Split Mountain Gorge
 
Split Mountain Gorge
 
Wall of Split Mountain Gorge
 



The gorge suddenly ends. 0.2 miles after the end of the gorge, you will see a sign for Wind Caves Trail.

On Wind Caves Trail
On Wind Caves Trail


The half mile long trail takes you from an elevation of 450 ft to 700 ft where the Wind Caves appear.

Wind Caves
 
Wind Caves
 
Wind Caves
 
Wind Caves
 
Wind Caves
 
Wind Caves
 
Wind Caves Area
 
Wind Caves
 


A beaten path can be seen going up to the top of Point 860 ft.

Point 860 ft from Wind Caves Area
Point 860 ft from Wind Caves Area


Views from the top of Point 860 ft.

From Point 860 ft
 
Elephant Knees, from Point 860 ft
Elephant Knees
Wind Caves area from Point 860 ft
Looking down at Wind Caves
From Point 860 ft
Carrizo Badlands
From Point 860 ft, Fish Creek Wash
Fish Creek Wash
From Point 860 ft, Fish Creek Wash
Fish Creek Wash


When to Hike

Winter, late autumn and early spring is the best time to hike. Summer can be dangerously hot.

External Links

http://www.hikespeak.com/trails/wind-caves-trail-anza-borrego-desert/.

Images

From Point 860 ftWind CavesFrom Point 860 ft, Fish Creek WashPoint 860 ft from Wind Caves AreaWind CavesElephant Knees, from Point 860 ftWind Caves
Start of Split Mountain GorgeWall of Split Mountain GorgeWind CavesSplit Mountain GorgeWind CavesWind CavesFrom Point 860 ft
[ View Gallery - 15 More Images ]