Yaquitepec Ruins on Ghost Mountain

Ghost Mountain is located near Blair Dry Lake in Anza Borrego State Park. It's a lonely, dry, rocky and windswept hill that can only be accessed by a steep one mile trail. However, in 1930 Marshal South decided that it would be the site for his experiment in simple living. He would painstakingly pack in all of the building materials necessary for creating his own isolated oasis of life. He and his family would reside in the house that he built until 1947. His back to nature approach to life would be chronicled in a series of articles that he wrote for Desert Magazine during those years. Yes, he was a bit of an eccentric, but his renunciation of materialism strikes a harmonious chord in many of us that are afflicted by the commercialism of our own era.

We had read Diana Lindsay's wonderful book Marshal South and the Ghost Mountain Chronicles, An Experiment in Primitive Living. It contains not only an extensive examination of the life of Marshal South and his family, but also the complete collection of his writings from Desert Magazine as well as comments by his children. We had been by the trailhead to Ghost Mountain many times in our Anza Borrego wanderings, but had never made the hike to view the remains of Yaquitepec, which is the name that Marshal gave to his home. It means "House of the Sun" in Yaqui. Like Marshal, the Dzrtgrls are also at odds with an overly materialistic world, and decided to hike on up and check out the site of this grand experiment. We're glad that we did. With every step it seemed that we were leaving the modern world behind and reaching toward a more harmonious one. The ruins at the end of the trail are still impressive. What's there, you ask? You can view our photos by clicking on the link below. We have a feeling, though, that after seeing them you'll want to experience this hauntingly remote spot for yourself!


Click here for photos.