Morning at Borrego Palm Canyon campground
Morning light in Anza Borrego
Our campsite. It was cold enough that we didn't need the shade shelter.
Font's Point and Borrego Badlands
Benchmark at Font's Point
Badlands. This view reminded me of Bryce Canyon
View towards Mexico
Interesting clouds above
Next we hiked in to an abandoned Calcite Mine. It was used for optical calcite for gun sights in WWII and run by the Polaroid Corporation. It was closed after only a short time due to a newly created synthetic substitute.
There is a high difficulty 4x4 road that goes all the way to the mine, but we couldn't do it in our stocker. Instead we enjoyed a nice hike. On the return we explored a really cool side slot canyon and came back down Palm Wash.
A brightly colored Ocotillo (see the red blossoms at the end of the arms?)
Looking down on the canyon that runs parallel to the road (which runs up a ridge)
Hiking up the road.
Those two rocks are close to the mine area.
The road dips into a wash before the final climb to the mine. On the way back we detoured down the wash.
Still tire tracks back here - a good jeep with a skilled driver could probably make it fine - this stretch is still in pretty good condition, it's the stuff between the pavement and the mine that gets tricky.
Near the mine.
At the mine area
There's even a sign to tell us.
The mine isn't a tunnel, rather they dug trenches along veins of calcite. These trenches are all over the place.
Some pieces of calcite I found on the ground. It was everywhere, but the highest quality optical calcite was harder to find.
All of those white shreds are calcite.
David looks for calcite next to a trench.
A calcite vein - you can see all the crystals.
The vein from further back (see david's hand on the left side of the photo for scale)
Ocotillo, trench, honeycomb rock, and david
Trenches following a calcite vein through the hills
Calcite mine area (and those two rocks again)
Heading back down to where the road dips into the canyon (you can see it on the other side, but we'll take that canyon back)
About to go down in there.
Into the canyon. One description of this hike calls it the best slot canyon in Anza Borrego.
Getting narrower, but I'm wondering if this is really the best slot in Anza Borrego.
Ahhh, that's more like it.
Up a small dryfall...
After exploring the slot to the north, we head south down the wash until we rejoin the road. There were some nice dryfalls/puddles along the way.
Climbing out of the wash and back to the road.
After this hike we headed up to Palm Springs for the night - needed to resupply, get some good food and a shower, and recharge for the rest of the week in Joshua Tree!