About a half mile east of Tamarisk Grove Campground, looking south from State Highway 78 is the western edge of the Mescal Bajada. a three mile wide desert delta that, in the best of summer storms, carries a torrent of water into San Felipe Creek. After a few drenchings from late summer thunderstorms, a forest of dark green ocotillo comes splashing across the bajada. In early September, 2014, tropical storm Norbert left an explosion of the most colorful false spring in this valley, located between Tamarisk Grove Campground to the west and the Narrows to the east, both about three miles distant. We found the twin entrance roads along the south edge of the 78 to Mine Wash Road (see lat/long below because you can easily zip past it), and following the gentle, meandering climb up the bajada we reached the ancient Kwaymii village site at roughly 2.2 miles from the highway. This season, a 4‑wheel drive vehicle was essential, along with a suitable ground clearance to avoid several areas where rock has been exposed by erosion in the road during the thunderstorms.
The kiosk at the entry trail is located at geographic coordinates Latitude: N 33 06’ 46.2”, Longitude: W 116 20’ 42.4”
Don’t miss the turn-in from State Highway 78 at Latitude: N 33° 07′ 58.6″, Longitude W 116° 20′ 02.3″ at 2.75 miles east of turnoff at Yaqui Springs Campground.
Links: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=24488 for “Aboriginal Settlement in Mine Wash, Anza Borrego Desert State Park.” Is a discussion of CA-SDI-813.
Click on photo left or below for maximum image size.
Photos by Barbara Swanson unless noted