Calcite Mine Trail

4.3/5 (12 reviews)
Salton City, California (San Diego County)
Last Updated: 03/22/2023

Trail Information


Ghost Town
The Calcite Mine is a historic landmark and off-road trail in the Truckhaven Hills in the desert of Anza Borrego State Park located in the southeast corner of California. Because of the uniqueness of the mine, many people stop here when doing overland trips through the deserts of Southern California to take in the beauty of the area and the history. Getting to the mine is a moderate 4x4 trail with several obstacles that require a person to pick the appropriate line for their vehicle. This is a very short off-road run, perfect for a night run or a quick day trip if either dispersed camping or driving through the area. There are also several slot canyons in the area surrounding the Calcite Mine that make for a great hike.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

***Unconfirmed but likely - the trail has been graded and is now easy. We lowered the rating till we can confirm this so there is still a small chance of an obstacle on the trail*** Several obstacles are on this trail, including some rock crawling, off-camber sections, hill climbs, and many small washouts along the cliffside of the trail. Along the route are several slot canyons, ledges, hill climbs, sand, and exploring. The narrow shelf road trail has many washouts, requiring close attention to the trail. Please pay attention to the trail at all times to avoid the possibility of driving over the edge.
This can be a popular trail at times throughout the year, please watch out for traffic.

Trail Reviews

4.3/5 (12)
Official Crew
Rated 5/5
Visited: 03/22/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

If you first don't succeed, try, try, and try like 50 more times to make this trail. I wanted to get out to this trail to see the changes. 5 different anza trips happened over the last year, and each was supposed to have this trail on it. Finally, I was able to see the trail in its current condition. I was able to get new photos and will be updating the trail. The trail is now super easy, like 2wd land. Sad :( . But with that said, they didn't bulldoze the obstacle; they just put dirt over them, so maybe one day this could be a fun trail yet again. Update coming .
Official Crew
Rated 5/5
Visited: 12/28/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

Great, quick trail with awesome views at the top. Very easy--softroader capable, but knobby or A/T tires will make the drive more comfortable and will give you confidence over several rocky sections. I agree that 2WD vehicles can make it, but you'll be happier with a little extra clearance an SUV will give you. Regarding the Calcite "Mine" at the top--it is indeed a surface strip mine--there are several large gouges in the earth above the parking area and there are crystals everywhere underfoot: your kids will be being going bananas collecting rocks.
Rated 4/5
Visited: 12/10/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

A nice drive up a shelf road. Nothing too difficult, a few small rocks here and there... a decent hill climb, but not much else to cause concern. You do get decent views of the entire Truckhaven area and beyond from the top. As for the previous reviewer talking about no "mine"... this is not a type of mining that required digging of shafts... it was more like strip mining they did. Their efforts at mining this helped us beat the Nazi's, and left the hills with weird little ribbons. A cool spot that you pretty much have to see if you head out this way.
Rated 4/5
Visited: 12/04/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

Easy Trail, no longer a difficult drive. Nice Views at Mine Area. No could not find a mine shaft opening.
Rated 4/5
Visited: 02/04/2021

I can conform the road has been graded. Even 2WD with moderate clearance would be perfectly fine for this trail. Calcite is everywhere up there. Nice views and hiking options.

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