Ocotillo & the Mexican Border Motorcycle Tour
Ride the best backroads deep in the south of Southern California
Ocotillo is a census-designated place (CDP) in Imperial County, California. Ocotillo is located 26 miles (42 km) west of El Centro. The population was 266 at the 2010 census, down from 296 at the 2000 census. It is part of the El Centro, California Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Ocotillo was devastated by floods from Hurricane Kathleen in 1976; 3 people died. A documentary about the Ocotillo disaster can be seen on YouTube, search “Hurricane Kathleen” or “The Ocotillo Flood of 1976”. There are several cafes, a small market and a diner that serves very decent food (Red feather). There is a new Desert Museum with displays about the desert terrain, flora, etc. and artifacts from the Kumeyaay culture that inhabited the area. It is located on the south side of freeway I-8.
Jacumba Hot Springs is in a valley in the Jacumba Mountains at an altitude of 2,800 feet (850 m). The area is dry with an annual average rainfall of 11.8 inches (300 mm). It is served by Old Highway 80; Interstate 8 bypasses the town at a distance of two miles (3 km). The town is located in the Pacific time zone (GMT -08:00).
Jacumba Hot Springs is located on the Mexican border. A small settlement exists on the Mexican side, known as Jacume; the unmanned crossing was closed in 1995. The new, enlarged border fence now runs through the area. The United States Border Patrol maintains an increased presence in the area to curtail smuggling and illegal immigration.