Agua Caliente County Park is a small regional park encompassing 910 acres in eastern San Diego County that is almost entirely surrounded by Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. It is administered by the County of San Diego Parks & Recreation Department.
Although there are a few short trails within the park (the longest trail is 2 miles), the main attraction here is the mineral pools, of which there are 3: cold and warm pools are outside, and a hot pool is indoors and restricted to visitors aged 14 and older. The park also provides multiple camping options, from tentsites to RV hookups to seven standalone cabins with electricity and plumbing. There are also restrooms with coin-operated showers (although there are also free rinse showers at the entrance to the indoor pool). There is a small market just outside of the park entrance that is very expensive, and not very well-stocked in terms of food and beverages. Also, the door may be locked during posted open hours, in which case the visitor has to “ring hard” a large bell (which I imagine can be heard in the four corners of the park) for entry.
I visited to check out the mineral pools in between hikes in Anza-Borrego. Because the park is small with few natural sights or features, and my intention was to get in a good soak, I didn’t take any pictures within the park.
The day use fee is $3, which includes use of the mineral pools. This is a pretty great bargain considering the pools are typically open from around 9:30am – 5pm, and restrooms (the showers are $0.50 for 4 minutes) and a picnic area nearby and also included. Camping fees range from $24/night for a tentsite to $70/night for one of the cabins. Due to high summer temperatures, the park is closed from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
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