Part of the extensive Peninsular Ranges mountain system, the Santa Rosa Mountains are located northwest of the Salton Sea in extreme south-central California. Stretching for nearly 40 miles in a northwest-southeast direction, the Santa Rosas are bounded on the east by Coachella Valley and on the west by Clark Valley. The mountains begin as a range of low hills just west of the Salton Sea. As they climb to the northwest, they reach their highest point at Toro Peak (8717 feet). The southern spur of the range merges with the famous Borrego Badlands while in the north, the Santa Rosas terminate at Palm Canyon.
This rugged, nearly waterless range of mountains harbors a secret. Within this vast wilderness of
The Santa Rosa Mountains contain no major ore-bearing deposits, either precious or base-metal. The nearest mining districts lie 35 miles to the southwest, in the Volcan Mountains. The Mesa Grande District was located between present-day Lake Henshaw and the little town of Mesa Grande. During the 1880's, prospectors discovered gold-bearing ore in the area, but the deposits never amounted to much. The district quickly faded. The Julian District, which includes the mining towns of