Calcite Mine Trail Overview
The Calcite Mine Trail is a fun, easy to moderate off road trail that provides some amazing views of Anza Borrego State Park and the Salton Sea to the east. The Calcite Mine trail was 1.88 Miles out and another 1.88 miles back, totally 3.76 miles of off road driving.
My Fiancé and I were out in Anza Borrego for the day exploring while we waited for the sun to set so we could check out the Saturn and Jupiter Conjunction. Our first stop of the day was to the Anza Borrego Slot Canyon which is an awesome hike, if you are in the area!
After we were done hiking the slot canyon we had some more time before the sun went down for stargazing and we had an awesome sunset at the Calcite Mine!
Calcite Mine Anza Borrego Trail Map
The map below can be downloaded and viewed on Caltopo here. The trailhead for the Calcite Mine trail can be found on Google maps here.
Calcite Mine Trail Guide
My first tip if you plan to drive the Calcite Mine Trail, is to be on the lookout for the trail entrance! The trail immediately and steeply down off the S22 road through Anza Borrego. Since it immediately dips, the road is a bit hidden and can easily be missed.
The initial opening to the Calcite Mine trail is pretty steep but pretty short and after that quick dip the trail is a bit more gradual with its elevation changes.
The trail overall is pretty smooth for an off road trail, but as always when driving off main roads in the highway I highly recommend 4 wheel drive and that you have the right gear on hand when driving off road.
💡Pro Tip: Off Road Recovery Gear Recommendations
While off-roading make sure you are fully prepared for self recovery. Here are some tools I recommend:
- Hi-Lift Jack (Amazon Affiliate): Helps if you get a flat while off-roading and can also be used as a mechanical winch. I have also used this to get out of snow and off rocks where I was center pinned.
- Traction Mats (Amazon Affiliate): Helps in muddy or slippery terrain where your tires cant get enough traction.
- Portable Battery Jump Starter (Amazon Affiliate): If your car battery dies while off-roading there may not be anyone around to jump start your battery. Use a portable jumper to be able to jump start your battery without anyone else around.
If you would like other expert gear Recommendations, check out the Seek Adventure Gear Locker.
The first section of Calcite Mine trail gradually goes down to South Fork Palm Wash.
When you quickly get down to South Fork Palm Wash, its a sandy 4 way "intersection" and you can go right or left and explore Palm Wash or continue straight and back up Calcite Mine Trail as we did.
The Calcite Mine Trail is in the top left of the picture above and you can see it twisting up and out of the South Fork Palm Wash.
Soon after you rise back out of the South Fork Palm Wash, the trail quickly levels out on a plateau above the wash below.
The Calcite Mine Trail so far is pretty easy going, and 4 wheel drive is probably not needed. As always know your skills, and your vehicle's capabilities when driving on these trails since conditions can change pretty quickly.
The plateau eventually takes one fun dip and twist before nearing the end of the trail.
This fun dip and twist as I call it is about two thirds of the way up the trail. As you near the end of Calcite Mine Trail you will see this sign, before I nice area to park:
We didn't plan to be up here just before sunset. We actually planned to be out at Fonts Point, but this ended up being an amazing spot to be. When we were up at the top of the Calcite Mine Trail, there was only one other vehicle parked up here, and we essentially had the entire place to ourselves. I think Fonts Point is generally much more crowded and well known for sunset, due to its epic view. Fonts Point is absolutely beautiful, but if you are looking for a more secluded location with great sunset views in Anza Borrego, Calcite Mine trail is fantastic!
We parked around the end of the red line in the satellite image from Google Earth above. We then went out on foot roughly following the yellow line and climbed up to the area in the yellow circle. We had some beautiful views of the Salton Sea, and of the greater Anza Borrego Desert.
After taking some fun sunset pictures, we decided to hike back to the car and start our drive down before it was too dark. The drive down while the sun was setting was absolutely beautiful! If you want to see some of the Calcite Mine Trail Sunset drive, you can see it in the second half of the GoPro Footage Below!
Calcite Mine Trail GoPro Footage (Full Drive)