Story and Photos By Mike Bennett
Some of the truly historical places tucked away in this desert really amaze me. I heard there were rock houses right next to a running stream at the top of this dry dusty dirt road off of highway 62. Unless you drive a lowrider you can make it in just about any passenger car. From the I-10 take 62 for a very few miles, then go left on Mission Creek Road. It’s only 3-4 miles from the hwy.
I was lucky to meet Ranger Lucas from The Wildlands Conservancy at the gate.
I thought they were government run, but I learned that they’re funded entirely by donations.
There’s a lot of history here from the Mission Creek band of Sonoran Indians to when this was the T & K Cross Ranch. Then it was a famous spot for movie stars to come to these little rock cabins where you can now eat a picnic. There is a nice running stream, an old pool and tall rock fireplace.
Further up the dirt road there’s a wetland area that is lush with trees and vines.
Follow the Stonehouse sign up to the campground and beautiful stone house with screens and another picnic table inside by the fireplace. For being in the middle of the desert up a dirt road this place is incredibly clean and well maintained.
The great news is you can camp here by contacting The Wildlands Conservancy (760) 369-7105 or go to www.wildlandsconservancy.org
Make sure to ask for Mission Creek. There are restrooms and this is a very well maintained campground. There was no one around and it really seemed deserted. This is another impressive and historical spot in our desert.
Drive safe and enjoy the scenery.