Coyote Mountains

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Coyote Mountains
Coyote Mountains.png
Highest point
Peak Carrizo Mountain
Elevation 734 m (2,408 ft)
Coordinates 32°49′31″N 116°00′55″W / 32.82528°N 116.01528°W / 32.82528; -116.01528
Coyote Mountains is located in California
Coyote Mountains
Location of Coyote Mountains in California [1]
Country United States
State California
District San Diego County and Imperial County
Range coordinates 32°48′41.206″N 116°4′24.049″W / 32.81144611°N 116.07334694°W / 32.81144611; -116.07334694Coordinates: 32°48′41.206″N 116°4′24.049″W / 32.81144611°N 116.07334694°W / 32.81144611; -116.07334694
Topo map USGS Carrizo Mountain

The Coyote Mountains are a small mountain range in San Diego and Imperial Counties in southern California.[1][2] The Coyotes form a narrow ESE trending 2 mi (3.2 km) wide range with a length of about 12 mi (19 km). The southeast end turns and forms a 2 mi (3.2 km) north trending "hook". The highest point is Carrizo Mountain on the northeast end with an elevation of 2,408 feet (734 m). Mine Peak at the northwest end of the range has an elevation of 1,850 ft (560 m). Coyote Wash along I-8 along the southeast margin of the range is 100 to 300 feet in elevation. Plaster City lies in the Yuha Desert about 5.5 mi (8.9 km) east of the east end of the range.[3][4]

To the southeast lie the Jacumba Mountains and the Volcanic Hills. To the north and northeast lie the Carrizo Badlands, the Carrizo Valley and the Fish Creek Mountains. The west end of the range is within the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and the east end is within the Carrizo Naval Gunnery Range. The international border lies approximately 11 mi (18 km) south of the southeast margin of the range.[2][3][4]

The range consists of sand dunes left over from the ancient inland Sea of Cortez. Seismic activity has raised these. Much of the terrain is still loose dirt, interspersed with sandstone and occasional quartz veins. A dirt road leads towards the mountains, starting off State Highway 2 (S2), also known as the Imperial Highway, not far from the desert community of Ocotillo.

There are no marked trails and the footing is treacherous, made up of loose sand, dirt and crumbled shards of sandstone. Most slopes have no vegetation, but there is occasional mesquite and ocotillo, with coastal cholla at lower elevations. The local fauna includes jackrabbits and sparrows.

There are a few ancient sand dunes that have been fossilized and hollowed out by winds, producing wind caves. Marine fossils such as sand dollars and snails can be found, but it is illegal to remove any fossils.


  1. ^ a b "Coyote Mountains". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  2. ^ a b El Cajun, California, 30x60 Minute Topographic Quanrangle, USGS, 1979
  3. ^ a b Carrizo Mountain, California, 15 Minute Topographic Quadrangle, USGS, 1959
  4. ^ a b Plaster City, California, 15 Minute Topographic Quadrangle, USGS, 1957

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