Saturday, April 2, 2016

Bat Cave Buttes, 4/02/2016

When we visited the Salton Sea State Recreation Area (SSRA) the ranger at the visitor center  gave us a brochure with directions to various places of interest in the surrounding area. One of the hiking trails listed was this location. 

The trailhead to the Bat Cave Buttes is eight miles south of the SSRA on CA 111 at the Riverside/Imperial County line. Park on the left near the railroad tracks near Bombay Beach.

Carefully cross the railroad tracks and follow the wash to the buttes and caves that are about a .75 mi hike. The trail is easy to see in the desert terrain and the view of the Salton Sea from this location is spectacular. 

About fifty trains a day can be seen on the tracks here on the eastern side of the Salton Sea. Very picturesque.

One of the best things about this hike is that we were able to take Sadie, our doggy, with us off-leash. She always enjoys the smells, sights and sounds (the trains) of a new place.

The buttes form a horseshoe where there are six distinct caves that are large enough to walk into. These rock formations were created when the San Andreas Fault forced strata layers upwards. The weaker rock layers have crumbled over many years creating the caves. 

There are many other cracks in the rock formations here as well. We all (John, Sadie and I) enjoyed exploring the area. 

We did not encounter any other hikers when we visited the caves, although we did see ATV tracks on some of the trails. And, unfortunately, some litter (bottles, cans). Many visitors have carved their initials on the rocks near the caves (which I always find very irritating!) 

The bats here are strictly nocturnal, so we did not see any today. They emerge at dusk so if you are interested in seeing them, plan your visit accordingly. 

We thoroughly enjoyed this hike! And the longer we are in this area along the San Andreas Fault, the more interested I have become in the earthquake history of the area.  Yikes!

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