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Wild Recovery
San Jose, California
January 12 - 15, 2012
Agua Caliente Retreat In Anza Borrego Desert
San Diego County
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Agua Caliente Retreat In Anza Borrego Desert
January 12 - 15, 2012

Glass Inclosed Pool

The Place

This 910-acre park is located on the eastern flank of the Tierra Blanca Mountains. It is operated by the San Diego County Department of Parks and recreation.
Agua Caliente Park is a regional camping park located in the Anza Borrego Desert. It is best known for its geothermal heated springs. Three naturally fed pools provide different ways of experiencing the parkís mineral water. Two natural 96 degree F mineral water pools have long attracted people suffering from arthritis and rheumatism who seek after the curative powers associated with hot springs. The third is an indoor therapeutic spa heated to 102 degrees and outfitted with Jacuzzi jets.

View of the Pool

The seismic activity that long ago shaped the Tierra Blanca Mountains (and created the spur of the Elsinore fault that runs beneath the park) also enabled water to come to the surface and form the parkís natural spring. A wide variety of wildlife is attracted to these springs, including ground squirrels, foxes, coyotes and bobcats. The relatively abundant water supply also supports lush plant life, such as mesquite, willows, Washington palms and acacias. Depending on the seasonís rainfall, wildflowers and succulents can put on a colorful show in early spring.

We are staying in the campgrounds only group site: the Caravan site. It is equip with a communal campfire circle, ideal for meetings. It has 5 bar-b-qís, 8 picnic tables, running water, flush toilets and showers. There is a store nearby to pick up extra water, firewood, propane, charcoal, batteries and whatever else you may have forgotten or need.

Looking up the hill Palm Trees on the right

Walking the Walk

Thursday - Moonlight Canyon
Level: 1.5, Miles: 2.5, Elevation: 532í

The Moonlight Canyon Trail is a 2.5 mile loop, with an option to climb the Tierra Blanca Mountains to Inner Pasteur. The trail departs from the south end of the campground, at campsite 140, near the shuffleboard courts, ascends south over a saddle into Moonlight Canyon, turns north (left) down-canyon and passes some water sweeps. At the mouth of the canyon the trail narrows and turns west (left), following a rocky path to return to the east end of the camp.

Pool Hills in the background

Friday - Rock House Ruins Loop
Level 3, Miles 7.5, Elevation: 1,100

Rock House Ruins Loop is found in the Bow Willow Campground due south of Agua Caliente on S2; approximately 10 miles. We will begin the hike from the day use parking lot inside the campgrounds. We will take a left onto Rockhouse Canyon to the ruins and come back on the Bow Willow Canyon trail.

Roof Covered Picnic Tables and Fire Pit with Stone U Shaped Bench

Saturday - Whale Peak
Level: 3, Miles: 6, Elevation: 1,349í

To reach Whale Peak trail head we must head north from Agua Caliente on S2; approximately 15 miles, to Pinyon Mountain Road. This is a dirt road. We progress, slowly, down this road about 5 miles. Whale Peak is due south.

Sunday - Mud Caves

If time permits and if it is accessible, it might be worth a trip to check out the Mud Caves. Located 5 miles south of Agua Caliente, the Mud Caves offer exploration of the harsh desert climate.

The Sign for Agua Caliente County Park with Hills in Background

Know Before You Go:

The park is a desert and it will be the middle of the winter so dress accordingly.
Average temperatures during January in the region range from the 60ís during the day and can drop to the 40ís in the evenings.
Possibility of rain is slight but donít count it out and winds can be high.
Remember the park is known for its natural spring pools so bring a bathing suit and a towel.
The bathrooms have running water and flush toilets. There are showers there too.
There is a store just outside the entrance of the park to pick up extra supplies so donít stress about bringing everything (you can leave the kitchen sink behind ;-)

Two Story Roung Stone Structure


From San Jose From San Jose: Take Hwy 101 South to Gilroy approx. 30 miles. Exit #356/10th St/152 East turn left. Take all the way to I-5 (approx. 40 miles). Take I-5 to exit #161A/Pasadena onto I-210 E (243 miles), Stay on I-210 for 63 miles (be careful not to go into Pasadena) to I-15S. Take I-15S for 57 miles to exit #58/Temecula Pkwy. Bear left onto CA 79. Take CA 79 for 41 miles to San Felipe Rd(CR-S2). Take S2 for 17 miles before a brief turn on CA 78 (right then quick left) back onto S-2. Go another 26 miles to Agua Caliente Park Entrance. We will be at the Caravan Group Site.
Plans to caravan/carpool have been set up to meet at the Camden Rd Park N Ride off the 85 at 4am on Thursday morning. Call Anna J. for more details.

Flying Saucer with Transparent Dome over a Alien

Agua Caliente Road Map:     Click Here
Map of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park     Click Here

Wild Recovery Meetings | What to Wear & Bring | Trail Maps/ Park Info | Contact Us
What is Wild Recovery? | NA Online Resources | Business & Documents

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