Yaqui Well: My Experience in this Mysterious and Magical Place

5 03 2008

Imagine this: you’re in the middle of the desert camping. You step outside your tent and you see a storm that is about 30 miles away. Overhead the sky is blue; the sun is shining. A rainbow stretches out in the sky, sinking into the mountain next to you. The wind is blowing hard and you can actually feel raindrops hitting your face. But from where? The storm clouds so far away? Incredible. This was my experience waking up one April morning at Yaqui Well campground in Anza Borrego.

Storm and Rainbow

My view that morning of the storm clouds and rainbow.

One of the great things about Anza Borrego State Park is free camping. Unlike most state and national parks, there is no entrance fee there. You can basically camp anywhere you’d like in the park (as long as you’re a little bit away from the road.) There are though, a few undeveloped campgrounds available, such as Yaqui Well.

Yaqui Well sign

Located near the junction of Highway 78 and S-3, this quiet, picturesque area is across from the pay campground Tamarisk Grove. Legend has it that the well is haunted. With the ghost story fresh in my mind, I can honestly say that I was a little nervous that night. There were only about three people in the whole campground area:  my friend, another camper we had seen earlier, and I.


When I went to sleep in my cosy tent, I awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of violent shaking. The wind was blowing hard causing the tent to rattle, but it felt and sounded like someone was standing outside doing it. It was almost if there were angry spirits that didn’t want us to be there.


But when morning came, it was so beautiful outside. There’s a nice trail that surrounds the campground. For birdwatchers, there’s plenty of opportunities in the area. This oasis in the desert has plenty of vegetation due to the groundwater present near the well. All in all it was quite an experience for me visiting this spot for the first time.

Trail Brush




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