Elephant Knees Bluff and the Fossil Bed

Borrego Springs, CA

This morning (Wednesday) we drove about twenty miles to the south east, through Ocotillo Wells, to visit the Split Mountain area.  Ocotillo Wells is an interesting town.  On Google Maps you get the impression that it is a real town  as you see a number of streets.  But when you drive through it, you find that there is nothing there, just some empty dirt roads.

Corner of Hwy 78 and Main Street in Ocotillo Wells

We turned south just past Main Street (yes, Ocotillo Wells has a main street, just no buildings) and drove a few miles before entering Fish Creek Wash through Split Mountain Canyon.

Split Rock Canyon

We parked the Jeep and began to hike up another wash (dried creek bed).

Mud Hills Wash

The creek is surrounded by mud hills that glisten with pieces of gypsum.

Mud hills covered with chips of gypsum

Elephant Knees Bluff

About a mile up the wash we turned up a smaller wash and reached the goal of this hike.  The wash here is filled with the fossilized remains of scallops and oysters who thrived here millions of years ago when the area was covered with water as part of the Gulf of California.

Like a prospector looking for gold

Shellfish fossils embedded in the rock

More fossils

After our hike we took a drive back up to Font’s Point to see if the sunset was any better than our visit the night before.

The sunset was just ok, but the panoramic view was impressive.

That’s all for now . . .

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3 Responses to Elephant Knees Bluff and the Fossil Bed

  1. Lisa says:

    I camped in Ocotillo Wells for many years when I was riding off road vehicles. I loved going to the fossil beds! Love that you are in shorts and tank top! We were all bundled up here all day long!

  2. Bruce & Barb Smith says:

    That whole are looks desolate. Sort of reminds you of maybe what the moon or another planet may look like. Some of those formations like Elephant Knees Bluff is a really neat looking formation. Keep the great pics coming. Did you get any of that snow that LA got recently?

  3. Marsha says:

    Another gorgeous header photo.
    Ocotillo Wells looks like a hopping place…haha
    Fish Creek Wash is awesome. I love the rock formations and the mud hills. So cool looking. The fossil formations are so clear. The look alive.
    Great photo of you Pam. You look so relaxed and enjoying every minute of your journey!

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