Kumeyaay Indian Village Site Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Native American morteros location to visit

Labeled simply as the Village Site on park maps, the Kumeyaay Village in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is an easy to visit location where Native Americans lived for thousands of years. Take a short stroll around a pile of boulders along Mine Wash Road and spot grinding holes among the rocks. A sign at the Kumeyaay Village reads:

Native desert people have been attracted to the cave of this bouldered hillside for thousands of years. The last group to live here were the Kumeyaay (ku-may-eye), a nomadic people who lived off native plants and hunted game such as jackrabbits and bighorn sheep. They made camp here from October through May until the late 1800s.

Walk a few yards ahead to the village site. See if you can find the large flat rocks which still show signs of seed grinding. Native women spent many hours upon these rocks working on the metates and in the deep morteros.

Broken tools, pottery and bits of charcoal hold the story of a people who loved for centuries in the rock shelters of Mine Canyon. Please respect this ancient habitation site of those who came before us.

Morteros Kumeyaay Village Site
Morteros at the Kumeyaay Village Site

Walk into the boulders behind the sign and spot morteros, Native American grinding holes still carved into the rocks. You can walk about a quarter mile around the old site before continuing your exploration of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. To learn more about the Kumeyaay Indians, make your way to Morteros Trail and Pictograph Trail.

Kumeyaay Village Site
A sign at the Kumeyaay Village Site

To get to the trailhead: From Christmas Circle in Borrego Springs, drive 5 miles southwest on Borrego Springs Road. Turn right on Route S3 (Yaqui Pass Road) and drive 6.9 miles south on Yaqui Pass Road to Route 78. Turn left and drive 2.7 miles east to Mine Wash Road, a sandy dirt road on the south side of the road (there is a Mine Wash sign at the intersection). Turn right up Mine Wash Road, which is in good condition. Pass bathrooms on the right after 0.3 miles. At 1.6 miles up Mine Wash Road, you will reach the Village Site. There is a sign on the left side of the road next to the boulder pile.

Address: California 78, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs, CA 92004
Coordinates: 33.113076, -116.34512 (33° 06′ 47.07″N 116° 20′ 42.43″W)

Use the map below to view the site and get directions:

Photos

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These photos were taken in March of 2013. Click to enlarge.
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