Desert Camping in Anza Borrego

Annotated pano am

My last post on my blog was 2 years ago, and I am hoping to start writing and posting again.  What better way to get things going than a report on a Boy Scout camp out?

Troop 985 headed out on our first camping adventure of the season this last weekend.  We traveled out to the Arroyo Tapiado Mud Caves in the Anza Borrego desert, to explore parts of one the largest mud cave systems in the world.  This is an annual trip for our troop, and one of the boys’ favorites.  Lots of climbing, crawling, sliding, and jumping, plus plenty of dust and dirt.  What more could you ask for?

Mr. R. is our Moses, he leads us into the desert.  Below is a picture of his beloved Jeep, with Mr. R. at the wheel.  This is actually a close view of his Jeep, usually he floors it once we hit the dirt roads and I have to look for his dust trail to figure out where he is.

Following Mr. R’s Jeep out into the wild.

After we arrived and set up camp we headed out with head lamps and bandanas to explore some caves.  The caves are formed by rainfall percolating down through the mud hills that are common in this area.

Group at start

Our intrepid group on the way to explore the mud caves.

Sam into cave

The entrances to the caves can be hard to find, you need to keep an eye out for openings in the walls of the canyons.


Inside the caves it can be totally enclosed and very dark, and then suddenly it opens up into skylights or short open slot canyons. The walls are fascinating, with swirling rock layers and embedded stones.

Playing palace

Not all the scouts went into every cave. Some chose to play cards and hang out while their fellow scouts wandered in the darkness.

Joey and dog

While we were exploring we came upon a couple and their little dog Max. He had his own flashlight (the red bit around his neck), and was also a cave explorer!

Adventurer scouts

This is our group of adventurer scouts, who set off to explore the depths of Hidden Cave, which is conveniently located right where we camped.

Mo and Sam

Sam and me at our campsite. In the backgroud between our heads you can see the entrance to a large mud cave. The mud hills extend up to either side, and make a beautiful contrast with the blue sky.

Boys on cliffside

This photo gives an idea of the size of the cliffs above our campsite. The boys had a great time scrambling up and down them, and found perches in the most unexpected places.

Moonrise over hill

Later that night while we were enjoying the campfire, the moon rose over the cliffs and it was so bright we felt like we could play catch. Took this while leaning the camera on Mr. V’s awesome truck. We bring out some fairly heavy patrol boxes for the boys to cook with, and we are always grateful for parents with big, awesome trucks!

Group in am

Here is our gang the next morning, finishing up breakfast. On our way out of the desert we stopped to hike a slot canyon.

Start slot canyon

The start of the slot canyon.

Slot canyon

Heading further in.

Mo slot canyon.2

Me in one of the narrower spots in the canyon.

Top of mesa

The canyon eventually led to the top of a mesa…

Mesa top

…and a beautiful view!

Geology and Mr. R.

On the drive out we stopped so Mr. R. could point out some cool geology. Look at how those rock layers are buckled and twisted.

Mo's subby

This is me giving the thumbs up after traversing a tricky spot on the road out. Only bottomed out once, though it was a good thump. I love my Subey!

Well, another Boy Scout adventure under our belts.  Had a great time getting out camping again with the troop, and we are looking forward to further outings soon!







Filed under Boy Scout Troop 985 Adventures, Travel

4 responses to “Desert Camping in Anza Borrego

  1. Marjory Clyne

    Maureen, maybe we will see you at Dinah’s yoga class again as well! Good to hear from you and what a great adventure. Marjory

  2. Ed and Shirley

    We loved reading about The Boy Scout Troop’s scouting trip to Anza Borrego. The photos are incredible and probably only give a hint to the scenic sights that you experienced. We’re happy to know that your blog is back and look forward to reading and viewing about your adventures.
    Your fans,
    Shirley and Ed

  3. Joan Rotter

    Maureen, Thanks for the reminder of how many wonderful places there are to see and things to do right in our own backyard. Great to see your smiling face! Joan

  4. Celia Abrams

    This looked like an incredible trip. It’s interesting to see the scenery being explored and enjoyed. Thank you for sharing your writing and photos.

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