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Photo of Morteros on Morteros Trail.

Archaeology Day Field Trips


Join the Colorado Desert Archaeology Society on Archaeology Day for in-person field trips to Mine Wash, pictograph and petroglyph sites. NOVEMBER 4 & 5, 2023 For all field trips:

  • Limited to 15 participants, except Clark Dry Lake is limited to 10 participants due to parking limits.
  • All participants must sign up in advance.
  • Fee: $10 per adult/ $5 per child
  • All participants must be prepared with suitable footwear to walk over rough ground and boulders, bring water, hat, and sunblock.

Please register below for the field trip you would like to attend:


Mine Wash Village

Date & Time: Saturday, Nov 4, 2023, 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Meeting Location:

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center Parking Lot

200 Palm Canyon Dr.

Borrego Springs, CA 92004

Details: Mine Wash Village was used most intensively by the Kumeyaay people around 1100 years ago and again in the 1600s. We will observe features associated with seasonal habitation, food gathering, and food preparation. Archaeological features include bedrock milling and grinding features and examples of the mysterious pecked cupules found throughout the region. Mine Wash was also associated with a trade network extending from the Colorado River to the Pacific Coast with exotic items such as obsidian from the Salton basin, shells from the Gulf of California and Pacific Ocean, and fish. Led by Don Endicott.

Requirements: High clearance vehicle, carpooling may be organized.

Register Here


Clark Dry Lake Rock Art

Date & Time: Sunday, Nov 5, 2023, 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Meeting Location:

Borrego Springs Public Library parking lot

2580 Country Club Rd

Borrego Springs, CA 92004

Details: The Clark Dry Lake petroglyphs are associated with the Cahuilla People who lived in the area for at least for the past 2,500 years. The petroglyphs are pecked, not painted, into the heavy desert-varnished boulders. While it is not possible to understand the meaning of this rock art some say shamans did it, others think it was associated with puberty rights, and still others believe they are directional sign posts or have celestial meanings. The quest for understanding the past through what others have left behind continues. Led by: John Case

Requirements: High clearance, 4-wheel drive required. Carpooling to Clark Dry Lake will be organized when we meet up. There is an 8 mile drive over Rockhouse Canyon Road which is a rough washboard road with some soft sand. The hike is of moderate difficulty, with 450’ elevation gain, up and down dry washes. Hiking footwear for 3.5-mile round trip hike, plus water, hats, sunblock, and food for lunch.

Register Here


Morteros Trail

Date & Time: Sunday, Nov 5, 2023, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Meeting Location: 

Borrego Springs Public Library parking lot

2580 Country Club Rd

Borrego Springs, CA 92004

Details: Morteros was a village used by the Kumeyaay Native American people in the past. We will see food preparation areas, an agave roasting pit and cupules, pictographic rock art, and identify various plants and how they were used. Led by: John Downing Brenda Wills Eli Vasquez

Requirements: High clearance vehicle preferred; carpooling may be organized.

Register Here


Blair Valley Pictograph Trail

Date & Time: Sunday, Nov 5, 2023, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Meeting Location: Meet at: Blair Valley turnoff of S2. (See directions below) Meet at restrooms.

Details: The exceptional Blair Valley pictographs are associated with the Kumeyaay People, who have lived in this region for thousands of years. View this notable native rock art site that features diamond chains, zigzag lines, sun rays, and other seemingly abstract patterns. Although no definitive dates can be established, these paintings, created using natural red pigments, are thought to be between 200 and 1000 years old. Led by: John Downing Brenda Wills Eli Vasquez

Requirements: High clearance vehicle preferred

Directions to Meeting Location: From Julian, continue east on Highway 78 to Highway S2.  At the intersection of Highways 78 and S2, go south on S2 for 5.3 miles.  There is a sign on the left side of the road marking the entrance to Blair Valley.

Register Here



The event is finished.


Nov 04 - 05 2023


All Day




Colorado Desert Archaeology Society
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