Wind Caves Trail

Ocotillo Wells, California 92128

Wind Caves Trail

Wind Caves Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The trip’s excitement begins with the drive up the wash. Progressing upward from the valley floor, the wash approaches the rocky face of Split Mountain—then cuts through the mountain, with hardly any gain in elevation. The view of the Carrizo Badlands behind you is spectacular. A variety of worn footpaths lead from the edge of the wash into the lands above; some of these routes are believed to be remnants of prehistoric use of the area. They all converge on the caves, so it does not matter which one you choose."

More Wind Caves Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Day & Overnight Hikes: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (Menasha Ridge Press)
Sheri McGregor
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"A short, steep trail leads to a series of wind caves once utilized as shelters by Native Americans and offers a viewpoint for overlooking the desert’s interesting landscape. Playful hikers can’t resist climbing inside a cave or two, perhaps posing for a companion’s camera at one of the sand-etched windows in these natural formations. Outstanding Features: Naturally formed hollows and small chambers, and views of the Carrizo badlands."

Wind Caves Trail Trip Reports

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This is a great short hike. We completed this in about two hours with one of those spent at the caves with my little boys. Even my husband, who doesn't care for hiking, thought this was a great adventure.
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A nice hike up to the caves, but the best part of the trip is the drive through Split Mountain..... and the interesting rock formations and layers formed by eons of wind and erosion. We hiked up late in the day to the caves. As the sun sets, the beautiful earth tone colors of the surrounding mountains are quite breathtaking. Trail is steep with quite a few loose rocks, so be careful on the descent.
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This is a short hike of about a third of a mile each direction from the trailhead with less than 400 feet vertical climb, but the view towards the west was superb. The trailhead was hard to find -- we drove right past it. As you come out of the canyon that the Fish Creek Wash makes that gives Split Mountain its name you open out into a wide area. As you head south only a few hundred yards, you will find a small metal post with a small sign on it on the left side of the road, says Wind Caves. The coordinates were approximately N32 59.591 W116 07.105 on my GPS. You can park your car right in the wash. Two trails actually begin at the trailhead. One heads roughly northeast on basically level ground and only parallels the wash. The trail to Wind Caves is almost due east, then east southeast and works its way immediately up hill at the trailhead. Rocks have been laid out to guide the way as you look up the hill. Keep following the trails that go uphill, as the intersecting trails that you cross come from other trailheads in the area. The Wind Caves are fun to scamper around and the view is superb. The Caves are at approximately N32 59.473 W116 06.753. Note: has a feature that lets you type in a lat/long and it will bring up the USGS topo map of the area. Enjoy the drive.

Wind Caves Trail Photos

Trail Information

Ocotillo Wells
Nearby City
620 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
1 to 2 hours
October through April.
480 feet
Trailhead Elevation
1,100 feet
Top Elevation
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Local Contacts
USGS Carrizo Mountain NE
Local Maps

Trail Log