Maidenhair Falls via Hellhole Canyon Trail is a 5.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Borrego Springs, CA that features hot springs and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and nature trips and is accessible from October until May.
Fun hike. Interesting change over terrain.
Made the hike in mid April and loved it! Very moderate smooth incline to start off, with beautiful desert wildlife. As you enter the canyon, the trail becomes more inclined and requires quite a bit of bouldering to eventually make your way to the falls. You pass several oases before you get to the falls, and they become more lush and beautiful the deeper in the canyon you go! Another highlight was seeing big horn sheep high above on the canyon walls on our way back down! Keep an eye out for these majestic creatures.
The hike through the valley is beautiful this time of year (mid March) as all the cacti and plants are blooming. As you hike further on into the canyon, everything becomes more lush and green. There's a waterfall in the desert; need I say more?
This trail was definitely not bad for the first few miles. Wide open area, easy trail to follow. Once you get to the first set of palms the trail drastically changes. I believe the spring/pool/falls of the first oasis is where many people call it quits. After the long walk in open desert under the sun, it's easy to see why most people stop there and turn around. Supposedly there is a second set of falls further up the canyon. However I was not able to find it. My friend and I hiked and scrambled for at least 2 hours up the canyon post first pool. The trail diverges every few yards making it impossible to follow a trail. There is a clear target by following along the creek & going up canyon it continues to narrow. After the long struggle, we called it quits, though I'm certain we were extremely close to the larger falls. Wish I could share more.
Be prepared for sun exposure. Be prepared to scramble major boulders. Bring water & snacks. If you're happy with the first pool, it's ok to turn around. Want a butt kicking adventure, try to find the secondary falls.
Great views of the desert. Strenuous hike up as it climbs from the desert floor. Go as far as you like and turn as the views start immediately.