March 11, 2010

Agua Caliente County Park in the Anza Borrego Desert

Yesterday was a very windy and chilly day. With temperatures in the upper 50's and winds 20-40 mph, it was not a day to do a long hike or really much of anything. So, what to do????

Well, located within Anza Borrego Desert State Park is a San Diego County Park which contains a series of hot springs and some nice hiking trails. Agua Caliente is located in a spot where the San Andreas fault caused a crease that allows hot waters to flow to the surface.

There are three designated pools at the park. The kiddy pool and the outdoor deep pool have the natural waters flowing into them at 90 degrees. The indoor pool is heated to 102 degrees.  There is a campground on site. We were there on the weekend and the place was absolutely packed. But, returning on Wednesday resulted in a completely empty facility with the pools all to ourselves.

After playing in the pools, we did the 2.1 mile loop hike into Moonlight Canyon. It was a beautiful deep slot canyon that was completely shielded from the winds and made for a wonderful little jaunt in the desert.

Preparing to descend into the canyon

Hilina running the gauntlet in the marshy canyon bottom

5300 foot Whale Peak comes into view as you leave the canyon

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