Borrego Wind Caves (10 photos)

On February 20th Joe, Peter and I met for another visit to Anza Borrego. While browsing some of Shuwen‘s older photos I noticed some interesting wind caves near Borrego Mountain Wash, and Joe had noticed the exact same spot while on a recent hike. Funny enough, we both did this hike before (together, and individually, with some friends), but never really noticed these wind caves – they’re hardly visible when you’re hiking down in the wash.

The original hike that we did is described in Jerry Schad’s “Afoot & Afield in San Diego County” hiking guide under the name of “West Butte Borrego Mountain” (my tracklog on, and I can only recommend it: it combines the variety that Anza Borrego has to offer, spacious views, badlands and a slot canyon, into a single, not too strenuous hike.

This time however, we just wanted to spend some time photographing the wind caves. From the parking area, we walked more or less along the rim of “The Slot” on its southern and western side on the dirt road, and went down into Borrego Mountain Wash via the one-way 4WD vehicle “drop off” point. From that overlook it was easy to find our bearings, and the wind caves.

It was a pretty warm and sunny day so the contrast range was brutal once more, and for a weekday, the area was relatively busy – while we were there, two other groups also scrambled up to the top of the little “wind cave butte”. It was nowhere near as busy as on weekends of course, when the place is teeming with people and kids in flip flops and sandals.

We climbed around, photographed, patiently waited for the other visitors to enjoy their stay, had our lunch that we brought, wandered around a little more exploring the surroundings, and photographed more. In the early afternoon, we hiked back up in the wash towards “The Slot” and squeezed through the narrows of the twisted slot canyon before climbing out to the car.

One other reason to go to the desert that day was of course to visit the Anza Borrego Foundation’s exhibit of their photo contest at the Borrego Art Institute, and our winning entries. :) It was great to see all the photos on display, but a bit of a pity that only the winners and honorary mentions were displayed on the wall – the rest of the photos was in 5 or 6 bins for browsing, which didn’t really make it easy to appreciate them.

After a stop for ice cream in Borrego Springs we drove up on Montezuma Grade to Culp Valley, which we’ve been curious about, but after finding the little spring, covered and hidden by bushes and willows, we didn’t spend too much time there, and soon were on our way home.

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