Terra Firma Adventures

Arroyo Tapiado Mud Caves, Anza Borrego SP

Kristopher Artz May,2012 2 Comments
Arroyo Tapiado Mud Caves, Anza Borrego SP


Before you go here is my list of recommended things to take along.

  • Friend or a buddy…some experiences are just more fun with someone else to share them with, plus it’s safer too.
  • Flashlights or headlamps. An extra flashlight or spare batteries would be wise. You don’t have to go very far into the caves for it to become pitch black.
  • Something to drink and snack on. The caves are dusty and you will get dirty. Water is periodically necessary to get the grit or sand out of your mouth, and of course you want to hike (or explore caves) with a little snack.
  • A Sweatshirt or Jacket. It may be really hot outside, but if you spend anytime in the mad caves you may get chilled. It’s especially a good idea if you have kids with you. Tie one around your waist. You may appreciate it later.

Beautiful Spring Desert Scenery on the Way to the Mud Caves

The Turn onto Arroyo Tapido

Getting to the caves:

  • A high clearance 4WD vehicle is recommended. Some sections of the road are rutted and quite rough while other parts have fairly deep soft sand.
  • Take County Highway S2.
  • Exit at Lat. 32.91530705, Long.-116.24061996 and head East
  • Head north at Lat. 32.91, Long.-116.206512
  • Look for parking areas and the turnouts. The caves are explored frequently, so look for tracks leading to dark areas in the sides of the mud walls. The slot Canyons are fairly obvious but no less fun to explore.

Here is a little downloadable JPG image I made as a guide. The Latitude and longitude were generated from an online website that I use often and is pretty accurate. (http://itouchmap.com/latlong.html)

Please Download and Print this JPG Map and Let Me Know if it Was Helpful


Exploring One of the Many Carved Canyons

Does Going Through Small Dark Openings and Getting Dirty Sound Like Fun to You?

Emma and Me

To be honest, I have no idea what the names were of the caves and canyons we explored, and you could spend days exploring the caves and canyons, but for us, this was a really fun way to spend a few hours and introduce my daughter to caving.

If your in the area and want to see  what has been called the “most extensive system of mud caves in the world”, head over to the Southern  end of Anza-Borrego State Park and enjoy the caves.

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  1. Matt Rouse May,2012 at

    Very cool Kris, love the family oriented aspect of this trip. Great tips too!

    • Kristopher Artz May,2012 at

      Doing anything outdoors with your kids is great, but hiking around in these caves and canyons was one memory I won’t easily forget.

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