Calcite Mine Trail is a 3.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Borrego Springs, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.
off road driving
Calcite Mine is just under 4 miles long and located near Borrego Springs, California. The trail is great for hiking and normally takes 2-3 hours. You start off on the rough jeep trail down to a wash where you have the option to traverse through a slot canyon. Once to the mine area, you can explore various rock formations and hike up to the tiptop for a fantastic view of the Salton Sea and the surrounding badlands. On the way back, start out on the jeep track again and then venture the other way down the narrow canyon to meet back up with the original trail. This hike has a bit of everything!
I would recommend starting this hike as early as possible to avoid the heat that comes on early and quickly & bring plenty of water. Parking is 300 feet past the trail head. Watch out for fire ants.
This area was interesting. There are lots of slot canyons everywhere and this place can be a maze. There are many cool rock formations scattered about as well. This is a good hike if you want something easy and unique. However, it's far enough out there to where I would only recommend it if you're already in the general area.
I've hiked up here a couple of times now. The Mine Road is passable to high clearance vehicles up to a turnaround above the junction with Palm Wash Rd. Beyond here, you'd better walk unless you enjoy the sound of your undercarriage scraping on bedrock. About halfway from the turnaround to the mine is a slot canyon on the left, and this is by far the highlight of the route. Use your GPS to keep a bearing on the location of the Calcite Mine, and when it's about due east, look for one of a couple of routes out of the canyon to your right. Either way involves some scrambling, and both are a lot of fun!
Bring plenty of water, and keep an eye out for rattlesnakes. I camped at the turnaround for an early start, due to the warm weather at the time of my last visit. Even so, I was heading back down the trail about noon, and the sun was murder.
We started this hike with the temp at 74 degrees. There are 2 parking areas one at mile post 38 and another at a view point right at the trail head. The jeep road was easy to follow with signs exactly where we needed them. The views along the washes and in the distance kept us going. We reached the mining sight in 1.5 h. We didn't head right down because there were just too many areas to explore, views of Salton Sea and a pleasant breeze to enjoy. On the way down we met up with a couple of 4WD's heading up. We took a little side trip to explore a slot canyon heading West. All tolled we covered a little over 6 miles in 4.5 h.
Great 4wd trail. Somewhat difficult but not too hard. You'll want good ground clearance and good articulation. The most recent time we've done this trail, it was considerably more washed out than the previous times, making it a little more challenging. There were large ruts we had to straddle and the shelf road is sometimes very narrow because of becoming partially washed out.
There is a steep section that is a little more difficult but not that bad.
The scenery going in and out is amazing. Take time at the end of the trail to hike around the area. It was extremely windy each time we've been there.
We exited via Palm Wash and popped out near the Salton Sea. That was an easy and pleasant drive but to get to the wash was a little exciting. To get to it, you drop down a steep section into a canyon from Calcite Road. Once you're in, it's easy. It's a pretty drive before and during sunset.
Great hike, it is more like 7 miles through the canyon with many slots and boulders to crawl through and over.