Borrego Palm Canyon

MODERATE 34 reviews

Borrego Palm Canyon is a 2.8 mile loop trail located near Borrego Springs, CA that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from October until May. Horses are also able to use this trail.

2.8 miles 465 feet Loop

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

See a real desert oasis as you clamber through a slot canyon in Anza-Borrego Desert State Wilderness Borrego Palm Canyon is the most popular trail in California's largest state park. It leads to the third-largest palm oasis in California, which was the first site sought for a desert state park back in the 1920s. It's a beautiful, well-watered oasis, tucked away in a rocky V-shaped gorge. If you're lucky, you may glimpse a bighorn sheep, in a canyon vegetated by California's only native species of palm. The park receives many visitors due to its proximity to the metropolises of Southern California, and the trail is relatively easy to access and hike (three miles round trip with 600' elevation gain). The trail visits the first palm grove and a waterfall. A longer option takes you exploring farther up-canyon. During the spring wildflower season, this trail is not the place to "get away from it all." However, the hike is rewarding in may ways: child-friendly, a multitude of waypoints through which to explore the natural history, and minimal effort for outstanding natural values.

hiking
1 day ago

the alternative trail back was more difficult. it was stoney and no trail markers.

backpacking
2 months ago

A great trail, we took our kids and it was manageable to do with a two year old and our baby. It was warm when we went but not like it is during the summer, if you're going in the summer months obviously bring water. The trail has a perfect ending at the oasis with shade to cool off, and we had a good amount of water coming through the creek. Definitely will do it a third time.

hiking
3 months ago

We hiked this after hiking Hellhole Canyon and although this is easy, the up close opportunity to walk within feet of big horn sheep was the highlight of the hikes.

hiking
3 months ago

Did this in March 2016. Flowers all over. Saw a couple of female big horn on the slopes above.

4 months ago

Did this hike at night. It was cool!

4 months ago

Nice walk, lot of lizards and great variety of cactus. End of the hike is awesome, the oasis is worth the hike!

hiking
5 months ago

Lovely trail. Lots of wild flowers and birds. We saw a wild borrego too!

5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Pretty easy hike, I took the main trail up and it was pretty easy. When I took the alternate trail down I got a little lost but not hard to find. Make sure to bring a lot of water and snacks to enjoy in the oasis. Went in the afternoon and has the oasis to myself.

5 months ago

Pretty easy hike. Very cool when you realize that you are approaching an actual desert oasis. Ice experience to sit in and cool down in the oasis. Great early in the morning, can get crowded during weekend days. Always fun (been there 6+ times)

geocaching
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Nice little scrambles. Take lots of water and go early if you want the oasis to yourself.

hiking
8 months ago

Nice and easy trek up the trail. Great to find water and the ecosystem around it. Watch the mountain goats, birds and yes, be quiet. You will enjoy more.

hiking
8 months ago

Nice, popular, and easy trail with beautiful scenery and an oasis. The water was running. Parking was $8

hiking
1 year ago

Pick a mid-winter weekday. Take the kids and/or camera. Be quiet. See sheep.

hiking
1 year ago

Nice, moderate-easy trail. Went in December and the weather was perfect.

hiking
1 year ago

Fun, moderately difficult for me because I'm overweight and out of shape but I made it to the oasis with no problems. Take plenty of water. I started in the parking lot of the campground, which costs $8.00 to access. I didn't go any further than the oasis because I was by myself and having a hard time finding the trail beyond the oasis. The trail itself was beautiful, running along a small stream. I saw several big horn sheep up close, including young ones. They were very playful and fun to watch. There were a handful of people on the trail but everyone was respectful of the wildlife and others trying to enjoy the peace and quiet. For me, it ended at the oasis. I sat underneath the palms and had my lunch, enjoying listening to the stream in the shade. Extremely peaceful. I took the alternate route out.

camping
2 years ago

To camp here is recommended, though a day trip is good if you come early. The stream feeding the oasis is seasonal, so doing the hike some time after recent rains is best if you want to enjoy the oasis. I went upstream and was cooling off under a waterfall in the afternoon and the flow was suddenly stopped, making me suspect there is a dam upstream that regulates the flow. There's a lot of birds and wildlife along the canyon especially in spring when the water is flowing.

hiking
2 years ago

Great hike.
Easy and fun for all, but BRING WATER AND ESSENTIALS. Met several unprepared people up there and one older lady that almost didn't make it back. No phone service in case 911 is needed.
Great oasis at the end with places to play in the waterfalls. Was a great time with kids.

hiking
2 years ago

Don't stop when you get to palm oasis. Keep hiking through the canyon, following the spring upstream. The views are great and it is fun trying to find your way through the canyon. You can turn around when you please, but you will probably want to keep going to see what is around the next bend!