Anza-Borrego Desert: Felden deposit - Rainbow Canyon

Rating *****
Length 2.4 or 5.9 mile - 1 Hour or 2 Hour, 55 minutes (both return). Easy or Easy/Moderate.
Elevation 2200 - 3140 feet
Access All cars, park roadside close to mile: 25

A hike up to a small mine and optionally back along the Rainbow and Box canyon.

From the road hike south until you meet the California Riding and Hiking trail.
Find a small sandy wash leading south.

Look up the mountain for the old mining road.
From afar the road is visible, but closer up it's another story.

Think how they had to build the road and try following it.
Sometimes you can see traces of it.
Going further the road gets more visible.

At the dump site, turn left (east) and go a bit uphill.
The road is more clearer up there and goes downhill.
It ends at the still open mine shaft.

Go back the same way you came, for an easy, one hour round trip hike.

We noticed the rainbow canyon to the left and decided to go there.
The terrain is a bit steep and filled with cholla of the jumping kind.

Keep going south with a little bit to the east.
The best place to hike is out of the small washes.

It's actually easy to get in the Rainbow canyon.

Start hiking west, down the wash. You notice some steeper dry falls and as the name suggest rather colorful.

The falls are easier than they look, but I prefer doing it in the opposite direction.

At the road, you can go cross country or along the road. (plenty of space along the road)

Pick up the US Mormon Battalion trail at the next parking in about 15 minutes.
This used to be a paved parking that is now in use as a sand deposit.

Follow the markers, US Mormon Battalion.
The trail ends at the road. Follow the road a few minutes and head into the box canyon wash.

Follow the sandy, sometimes unpleasant wash up to the car.
Notice the historical marker to the left at the road above.

The hike is easy up to the mine, easy/moderate thereafter.

About the deposit:

A former, very small W mine. Discovered by H. L. Jackson of Brawley and E. H. Johnson of San Diego in 1941. It was leased by Frank Felden in the 1950's.
The deposit consists of tactite interlayered with quartzite and quartz-biotite schist. Tactite averaged about 1% WO3. The garnet found was of brownish color.
Workings include surface and underground openings comprised of a 50 foot trench, several shallow pits and 1 short inclined shaft.
Production was negligible.
Data from

Disclaimer: Read this first before you start your hike. Contact: info/at/borregohiking/./com (leave out the /)
Hiking the Borrego Springs Area (Anza-Borrego Desert SP, Cuyamaca Rancho SP, Imperial Sand Dunes (Algodones Dunes), Laguna Mountain, Warner Springs) California, Hike with gps, gpx and kml (Google Earth).

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