Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great road, good starter trail for those looking to try out offroad driving. We camped as well, which was very windy but a great time. Fantastic view of the night sky. Also, the wind caves are a short hike off of the main wash. Overall, highly recommend taking a trip out this way.

off road driving
1 month ago

Took the family in the FJ Cruiser and had no problem taking this trail on. Would recommend if you do decide to cross the rock slide area then have at least 4wd and a lift. Very spiritual and very tranquil.

Great first Off Road Adventure in our new Tacoma!

off road driving
1 month ago

Some of the best views I've seen offroading. Easy trip but I recommend goin in the winter. We went during the summer months and it was 104 degrees. The rock slide is easy in a jeep .

hiking
2 months ago

wow a great hike but be prepared. very steep at the top. one hour from the saddle to summit. twenty minutes back. great view. just below the top find the big rocks that offer a shade cave. geology 101 w variety of rock all around. i was glad it was cloudy.

on Canyon Sin Nombre

2 months ago

This trail is the museum of geology.

Hiked this yesterday with my 4 amigos. We were a group with varying degrees of fitness, but all hikers. First, take at least 3 L of H2O, it get's hot up there. It helps to drink some electrolytes beforehand or eat some blocks during. There is no shade! Start out with sunscreen on and re-apply liberally. We started at 8:30 a.m. and only averaged a mile or so per hour. I would recommend starting earlier if it is warm. When we finished it was 85 degrees! Too hot IMHO. I would NOT park at the abandoned tractor tires, I would go on down the road to the structure and park there. Go up on this side. For the first part of the trail, it is mostly way-finding. Once you get up past the first ridge, there is a bit of a trail and we built some cairns to help you out. Not so many cairns at the first part. I would recommend lug-soled boots and poles. The trail can be unkind in some places and you need good traction and support. Great work-out and nice views.

Starts with the Borrego Palm Canyon Hike. Follow the canyon a few miles past the first palm grove, then ascend the ridgeline to Indianhead Peak. The elevation gain is all in the last couple miles, very steep and difficult. Lots of fun bouldering, but most of the mountain is composed of schist which breaks off in shards and covers most of the mountain in loose and slippery rock. Slipped and fell into cacti several times.

Wont be hiking the peak again, but the canyon hike was beautiful, have never seen so much water there. Glorious.

Did this as a day hike in windy conditions. The trail is mostly in good shape, only as it passes by Mt Wilson does it get a bit more ambiguous to follow, then completely peters out as the low desert comes into view. The scenery itself is reason enough to hike this trail, and by itself it is enjoyable as well.
Access to the trailhead is via a dirt/sand road barely the width of a pickup truck. Badly rutted, with a few minor boulder crossings. Tried both parts of the road, from Montezuma Valley road S-22 near the switchbacks leading down to Borrego Springs to the trailhead, and then out to S-22 via the other leg, for the final mile crossing over to Old Wilson Road which is in much better shape. I recommend only using the first leg, it is manageable for high clearance vehicles whereas towards Old WIlson Rd there are long ruts about 18" deep which are difficult to avoid. Also note the trailhead can only accommodate 2 vehicles for parking, however 1/4 mile West is a cluster of campsites with more room to park.

Feb 25 2018. Serious bushwhacking for majority of trail past first palm grove. Basically you are inventing a trail past the first palm grove. You have to follow the water up the canyon, you gain about 1000 vertical in 3 miles up the canyon. With the slow go of route finding / boldering it took us nearly 2.5-3 hours to get to the top of the canyon so we did not get to the peak. Great canyon though as we saw multiple bighorn sheep, beatles, and desert hare. Wear pants, the plants will shred your shins.......

This hike was challenging. I did Cactus to Clouds a couple of weeks ago, and although it wasn't quite that challenging, it was still a very difficult trek. I did not greatly enjoy this hike. Once the "trail" ends, you are basically boldering and avoiding cacti the entire rest of the way. I was stopping every 10 minutes to visually navigate the austere terrain in front of me to find the safest and "clearest" route. This is not a hike I would suggest doing by yourself. It's dangerous, and because of the incline and obstacle ridden terrain, one step could lead to a significant injury, or worse, death. I never felt completely unsafe, but there were moments I felt anxiety, which didn't allow me to relax and appreciate it as much. The summit is nice, but there are challenging trails that offer similar or better views of the same thing, but without the bushwacking experience.

off road driving
5 months ago

Took out my family in my Titan that’s 2wd, had no problem at all handling anything out there. Easy trails to navigate mainly follow the wash till you get there. Some soft sand here and there but the trails are so wide that you can easily go around. Didn’t have to air down the tires or anything like that.

Really fun trail. Main trail is wide, follows a wash, and the driver can easily pick their own route. Plenty of forks, so remember where you go; seemed easy to get lost or turned around.

hiking
6 months ago

Awesome beauty BUT cactus spines and dogs don’t go together.

We started at the Jasper trail /CRHT on S-22. then jumped off the Jasper trail onto the cut off for the old CRHT to Culp Valley road and followed that to the Wilson trail head. it's a very desolate trail. We didn't even see wildlife other than a hare and a deer. The trail disappears in more than one area, probably due to the 2013 fire and numbers of users dwindling. Downloading the map and using GPS to stay on point was necessity. The boulders and rock formations were really fantastic. The foliage is starting to recover in certain areas and it is apparent at some point in the near future the not-so-used trail will become overgrown, but hopefully not disappear completely. As you near the end on the trail ( the last mile) there are lots of sandy areas to camp. Climb any of the boulder hills and the views are phenomenal. We could see all the way to the Salton Sea. There is no water or chance of water at all anywhere on the trail. The day before we left, we drove to the Wilson/pinyon ridge trail head and hiked 5 gallons of water a little ways down the trail. On backpack day 1, we carried them and cached a gallon here and there along the trail for the return trip. In the end every went through 7-8 liters of water.

I don't think I did the full 29 miles but I did a large portion of it. Easy wash roads, beautiful desert scenery.

Beautiful place with amazing views,and not dogs poop.

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful colors on the canyon walls. Check out the branching slot canyon about halfway up for a great view across the plateau.

Any 4wd can do this! Easy day!

You get the best of both worlds: desert and mountain views. My family and I hike it at least twice a year. We enjoy it so much!

A fun ride

Dude holy bleep

Just completed it today. Amazing views, worth the hike. Definitely bring tons of water, frog togs, etc. Did the hike in about 105-110 but don't regret it. Mostly worth it for the pure solitude. The odds of you coming across another person on this hike are slim to none. Just take your time and make sure you have shoes with good traction. Lots of sharp drop offs on narrow trails with uneven rock beds. If you love peace and solitude, do this hike!

My wife and I had a wonderful hike mid-week and only saw a couple of other people. A wide variety of flowers were in bloom.

hiking
Sunday, May 07, 2017

There were some amazing views for the first couple miles, and after that it veers away from the ridge into some boulder fields. Not a lot of shade on the route, so bring your own if it's going to be hot. Passed about 30 hikers on a Friday morning/early afternoon.

hiking
Monday, April 17, 2017

We approached the mountain from the West where the PCT crosses Rodriguez Spur Truck Trail. The ascent was steep and we followed the ridge line to the peak. Wear long pants and bring extra water. This is a strenuous hike with many false peaks but the view is 360 and makes it all worth while.

hiking
Monday, April 10, 2017

Some of the best views in San Diego County. Well maintained trail.

off road driving
Thursday, April 06, 2017

Good basic 4 wheel drive trail One tiny rough spot otherwise soft sand and basic hill. Tight walls and excellent camping. Opens nicely to a larger wash that you can follow a ways and pick the highway up again.

backpacking
Friday, March 31, 2017

We plan on backpacking this soon. Can anyone tell me if there are any camping spots?

hiking
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

We hiked a 5 mile stretch, with kids. The views were fabulous and their was quite a few others using the trail.

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