Field Tours - Colorado Desert Cultural Heritage Symposium

Sunday, December 3, 2017 - 9:00am

Online registration is now closed.
You can register for the Symposium in person on Friday evening or Saturday morning at the Research Center.

Our symposium field and lab tours are scheduled for Sunday, December 3. The registration fee is $15 per person. Pre-registration is required.

For all tours going into the field, 4WD vehicles will be required due to soft sand. After you register, please email Briana Puzzo ( to indicate whether you have a 4WD vehicle and how many additional passengers you can take with you. Carpooling will be encouraged for all trips.

Please bring the following to ensure you have a fun day in the Park:

  • Lunch and snacks
  • plenty of water
  • sun protection and wide-brimmed hat
  • sturdy shoes
  • camera
  • camp chair for lunch in the field (optional)


The Anza Expedition in Coyote Canyon

9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Instructor: Miguel Marquez (National Park Service, Interpretive Specialist, Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail)
This tour will follow portions of the route of the two Anza Expeditions that passed through the Borrego Springs area of the Park during the period of 1774 to 1776. The first was a pathfinding military expedition that came up out of Mexico to determine the feasibility of a land route to Northern California. It was then followed up with a second expedition made up of families from deep down in Mexico to become settlers in the San Francisco area for the Spanish. Why this became highly desirable after centuries of neglecting that area makes for an interesting bit of history. Special emphasis will be given to their time here in the Park.

This will be primarily a high-clearance, four-wheel-drive tour with stops at important sites along the way. Minimal walking will be required at those stops. Limited to 16 participants

Meet at the Research Center at 9:00 AM (401 Tilting T Drive, Borrego Springs, CA 92004)


Hike to Clark Lake Petroglyphs

 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Instructor: Hayley Elsken (Associate State Archaeologist, Colorado Desert District)
Join us as we hike across the desert floor, into and out of the wash bottoms, to the Clark Lake Petroglyph site. This site lies at the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains just east of the mouth of Rockhouse Canyon. The petroglyphs, interpreted as an early Cahuilla type, are pecked into the reddish-brown patina of the boulders at the base of the mountains. Other significant features are located nearby.

A total of 3 miles of off-trail hiking will be required. 4WD vehicles will be required to get to the parking area. Carpooling will be encouraged due to limited space. Limited to 15 participants

Meet at the Research Center at 9:00 AM (401 Tilting T Drive, Borrego Springs, CA 92004)


Site Stewardship at Mine Wash Village Site

9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Instructors: Suzanne Emery (CDAS Site Steward) & Sally and John Bickerton (CDAS Site Stewards)
The Mine Wash Village Site was used most intensively by the Kumeyaay people 1,100 years ago and later in the 1600s. During our one-mile walk over relatively gentle open desert, we will observe a variety of features associated with seasonal habitation, food gathering, and food preparation. Archaeological features we will see include bedrock milling and grinding features and examples of the mysterious pecked cupules found throughout the region.
Mine Wash Site Steward Suzanne Emery will share the importance of Site Stewards in the protection of valuable archaeological areas. Participants will assist Suzanne in filling out her quarterly site report as they learn about the Kumeyaay and the archaeological features of the site. The nearby road through this area of the Park provides for quick access into the Mine Wash Village site which results in heavy activity by visitors to the Park. Some of that activity can at times be destructive to this village site.

4WD vehicles will be required to get to the parking area. Carpooling will be encouraged. This tour requires off-trail walking over a mostly level desert. Limited to 16 participants

Meet at the Research Center at 9:00 AM (401 Tilting T Drive, Borrego Springs, CA 92004)


Begole Archaeological Research Center (BARC) Tour

10:00 - 11:00 AM
Instructors: Susan Gilliland and John Downing (Colorado Desert Archaeology Society Volunteers)
This tour will bring to life the vital importance of archaeology in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park not only to protect the existing cultural sites but also to document them for research now and in the future. It will be explained how the unique design of the laboratory is a "green" building but also one that meets the certification requirements for a federal and state curation facility. ABF helped fundraise to build the facility.

The tour is through a single-story ground-level building that has no special physical requirements. No food or refreshments are allowed inside the building. Limited to 18 participants

Meet at 10:00 AM at the BARC (200 Palm Canyon Drive, Borrego Springs, CA 92004)