Approximately 70 miles east of San Diego County, along Interstate 8 is the McCain Valley Resource Conservation Area.  The area is open to a variety of uses.  The Lark Canyon ORV Area and Campgrounds are located in McCain Valley.

The DesertUSA Staff recently visited McCain Valley to report on the wildflower displays and to update photos of the area. The Beavertail cactus were in full bloom.  Apricot Globe Mallow and Brittlebush were also blooming in the area during this trip.

Apricot Globe Mallow in bloom in the distance with Beavertail Cactus blooms in the foreground.
Apricot Globe Mallow in bloom in the distance with Beavertail Cactus blooms in the foreground.
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The Sacatone Overlook offers a view the Carrizo Gorge, where a section of the San Diego to Arizona Railroad (aka the Impossible Railroad) is visible.  If you have some binoculars you will see some old railroad cars that have fallen below the track. Varying stories report that the railroad cars contained a load of beer, which was lost in the gorge when the cars derailed.  Near the Sacatone Overlook is an abandoned called “The School Mine.”

A few from inside The Old School Mine entrance looking out.
A few from inside The Old School Mine entrance looking out.

Another point of interest is the Carrizo Overlook. From this viewpoint you can see the Carrizo Corridor.  On a clear day you can see as far as the Salton Sea.

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McCain Valley Resource Conservation Area

Lark Canyon (McCain Valley)
Located 70 miles east of San Diego. Exit I-8 at Boulevard. Rolling hills, riding limited to designated trails with overall wheel width of 40″ or less. This area consists of 1,200 acres. Contact: El Centro Resource Area, 1661 South 4th Street, El Centro, CA 92243, (760) 337-4400. MC, ATV.

McCain Valley Lark Canyon
ORV Area & Campgrounds

Off-Highway Vehicle Areas
El Centro Field Office

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