Borrego Salton Seaway, Montezuma Grade and Montezuma Valley Rd (S22)

S 22 starts as Borrego Salton Seaway in Salton City and goes to Borrego Springs. You start below sea level at the second lowest point in the US. The lowest is at Badwater in Death Valley. Salton City is at about 30 m below sea level. The Seaway climbs up to about 300 m before it descends to the Borrego Spring Valley. Borrego Springs main intersection, Christmas Circle, is around 190 m.

Once you passed through Borrego Springs, you make sharp turn and the climb up Montezuma Grade begins. The summit is at 1290 m which means that you gain about 1100 m over 19 km which means an average grade of 5.5%. The first 9 km of the climb have an average grade of 6.5%. The summit is not very impressive, but while you climb up, there are great views over the Borrego Springs Valley and the surrounding mountains.

The final stretch is all downhill through Montezuma Valley and the town of Ranchita. S22 ends at the intersection with S2 (San Felipe Rd).

You can take S2 South and loop back to Borrego Springs via Hwy 78 and S3 (Yaqui Pass Rd), or head North and take Hwy 79 and Hwy 76 to Palomar Mountain (via S7).

Sun rises over the Salton Sea, seen from Borrego Salton Seaway

Badlands near the Borrego Salton Seaway

Montezuma Grade in the distance

Looking back into the Borrego Springs Valley from Montezuma Grade

Bottom of Montezuma Grade: Borrego Springs Valley

Bottom of Montezuma Grade: Indian Head

Looking back into the Borrego Springs Valley from Montezuma Grade

Summit of Montezuma Grade in the cloudes