Looking for a great trail in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California? AllTrails has 82 great hiking trails, trail running trails, mountain biking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 38 moderate trails in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park ranging from 0.9 to 32.8 miles and from 226 to 5,561 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

views

hiking

no dogs

wild flowers

nature trips

wildlife

bird watching

walking

kid friendly

off road driving

backpacking

trail running

camping

mountain biking

cave

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the largest state park in California. Five hundred miles of dirt roads, 12 wilderness areas and many miles of hiking trails provide visitors with an unparalleled opportunity to experience the wonders of the California Desert. The park is named for Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and the Spanish word borrego, or bighorn sheep. The park features varied desert terrain and habitats, wildflowers, palm groves, cacti and sweeping vistas. Visitors may also have the chance to see roadrunners, golden eagles, kit foxes, mule deer and bighorn sheep as well as iguanas, chuckwallas and the red diamond rattlesnake. Listening devices for the hearing impaired are available in the visitor center. Many visitors approach from the east via Highways S22, S2, or 78. Visitors from San Diego and other points west arrive via Highways 79 and 78 can have the added pleasure of driving through the mountainous Cuyamaca Rancho State Park--quite a different experience from Anza-Borrego. The highways from the west climb to 2,400 feet or so and then descend about 2,000 feet to the valley. Where the highway breaks out of the high-country vegetation, it reveals the great bowl of the Anza-Borrego desert. The valley spreads below, and there are mountains all around. The Santa Rosa Mountains on the north side of this basin are notably grand. The surrounding mountains are wilderness, with no paved roads in or out or through. They have the only all-year-flowing watercourse in the park. They are the home of the peninsular bighorn sheep, often called desert bighorn. Few park visitors ever see them; the sheep wary in their defense against predators. A patient few observers each year see and count them, to learn how this endangered species is coping with human encroachment.

Fun Trail. Gets pretty narrow with quite a few boulders at the end. This trail does not lead to a different trail, so if you're thinking of driving out of this area on a different trail, forget about it...not in anything too wide anyway. (We used our Jeep JK)

great hike to the bridge. I did it in july 2018 and it was fully abandoned. since then the railway company has started to close it up. two tunnels had gates on them requiring you to use a bipass trail. you can still get to the bridge, just takes a little longer.

bridge out
off trail
over grown
rocky
washed out
4 days ago

loved this hike! I suggest taking a lot of water and start early in the morning.

We did this about a month ago. It was super windy but that didn’t affect the hike too much. Actually seemed to cool it down quite a bit. It’s beautiful on the way in and out as you get two completely different perspectives going in towards the canyon then out with a view of the expansive landscape. Almost gave the feeling of a loop hike since it didn’t necessarily feel like you were on the same path going out. We were pretty surprised to find frogs, ferns, and other interesting creatures and plants in the desert - but the oasis allows for those kinds of surprises! The hike is super easy in the beginning, but then you get your gains all at once with quite a few scrambles and [light] rock climbs. It’s all worth it for the fern wall and waterfall at the end! Would definitely do this one again.

My bad for doing this in 98 degree weather but I was willing to tough it out for a waterfall.... which dried up due to heat I guess. So no cooling off for me. I can see how this trail Would be really appealing in the cooler weather after a rain. But really a horrible trail this time of year.

hiking
rocky
9 days ago

off road driving
rocky
14 days ago

almost any car can make it just be carefull when driving. took a stock jeep no problem. the sign for the wind caves is kind of small. it feels alot shorter then a mile hike and the caves are fun to explore you can go into some of them and take fun pictures.

hiking
no shade
off trail
over grown
rocky
14 days ago

This trail should be CLOSED. $10 for full day parking. The first 2 miles, the trail is somewhat clear to see. The last couple miles towards the peak there was no trail at all. My buddies and I were trying to following the trail map all the way up the peak but there was no trail to find. If you do this hike you have to climb over so many obstacles because there is no trail in the last couple miles. We were lost so many times and it really it got frustrating. This hike does not go through the palm canyon. Not only that, the heat bites you in the end because there is no shade at all. In all, this hike needs maintenance. The hike has a lot of loose rocks. Don’t do this hike, it’s extremely dangerous because of the rattlesnakes and plethora of cacti.

Beautiful Views. Large Rock Formations.

hiking
19 days ago

Loved this hike. Our first desert/mountain area hike and it was a great one to start with. Not to hard for adult beginners, but still challenging enough to be fun. Beautiful scenery and the palm oasis is a cool destination.

hiking
bugs
no shade
over grown
rocky
scramble
20 days ago

Dainty little waterfall. First half of the walk is flat & easy. Somewhere past the halfway point is when the scrambles started. The trail is overgrown (if you're allergic to bees, bring benadryl as a precaution cuz they're EVERYWHERE) & not clearly marked. There's numerous areas where small paths branch off in random directions, some of which meet back up with the others, & some that lead nowhere. With summer heat approaching, make sure you hit this trail as early as possible, & unless you've got a water filter to refill at the falls, bring at least 2 liters. Better to have & not need than to need & not have. Another perk of going early is less people. The later in the day you go, the more crowded it gets.

Pretty easy hike. The weather was very moderate. A bit on the cooler/windy side. The trail seems a little slow but once you get to the palm tree oasis makes it all worth it! You’ll know when you get there! There were many families as well so something doable for most!

Definitely a spot to check out for mud caves! I recommend taking a good vehicle to get in. Although, I did see a minivan make it up pretty close. But they walked up to some of the caves. But I wouldn't risk it... We only looked for several - and they are very fun! Get ready to get dusty! Take headlamp/flashlight. Mask if you are very sensitive to dust. Definitely something to experience! Kind of hard to find the 'entrance to the caves.' So if it looks like a hole - from far away - just walk up to it and try to see it up close. Because those are the ones that end up being the entrances. Be careful of the sand and your step - because it is VERY soft and the dust flies everywhere. Just be careful going up and down!

off road driving
no shade
21 days ago

hiking
no shade
rocky
21 days ago

Great hike, it’s actually not hard at all if you’re able to drive up to where the ascent starts ( area where you are scrambling) weather is nice but the it get really chilly at the peak since all the winds pick up

hiking
22 days ago

Definitely worth seeing. If you are coming in into the parking lot from the road - entering the trail to the LEFT takes you a bit longer to get to the slots. If you enter the trail from the right side of the parking lot - takes you to the slots a lot quicker. They are narrow - and some people just look at the slots and turn back. Where as if you enter trail from the left - you go around - and takes you down a partial 'off roading' path. I went down it - it is pretty steep. For some kids - may not be kid friendly going down.

hiking
rocky
washed out
22 days ago

hiking
no shade
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
washed out
22 days ago

Would not bring a dog. Great hike for experienced hikers. Definitely not a first date hike. It was definitely challenging

off road driving
23 days ago

Whoa, went here for sunset on Memorial weekend. Definitely worth the views! Make sure to look all around, not just one direction. You can see everything, and with the sunset, AMAZING. We drove in in a 4Runner and got there with ease. We did see others in a Prius/sedans and seemed to have made it fine. But it was dusty and very windy. So if you are hiking, maybe take some protective gear. Many cars going in and out as well.

off road driving
no shade
23 days ago

Came here during Memorial weekend. Was not busy at all. Although we did take our 4Runner. We saw very few smaller/sedans that drove up to the Wind Cave areas. We missed the sign the first time around. And had to go back. There IS a sign. And entrance is a steep hill. It is right ACROSS from a big FLAT sandy/parking lot area. So if you are driving in, the entrance/sign should be on your left - with the sandy/parking open space to your right. It is a 'steeper' hike for about 1 mile. Once we got there, it was very breezy. There is NO shade. So bring a hat. And coming down - there are loose rocks - so be careful! There is shade once you get to the Wind Caves. You can climb or go into the holes and take a rest. Very nice views!

hiking
25 days ago

Great trail for family, the reward at the end is priceless!

hiking
rocky
26 days ago

hiking
rocky
27 days ago

Really beautiful hike. Use the main trail to easily follow signs. The highest number I saw is 15. Parts of the trail involve light stream crossings

My wife and I did approx 2/3 of this (11 miles total. 5.5 out and 5.5 back) and it is a great hike with incredible views from the get go. We had a near perfect day of weather (60s and sunny) although the last couple miles back there were some strong winds which made it slightly more challenging. A moderate rating feels appropriate as it is never overly strenuous. I would add to be prepared for ending on a continuous steady incline, as that is something I’ve not experienced much considering 90%+ of our hikes are to a peak and back, so end on a decline. Again, nothing too difficult for a semi-experiences hiker but make sure you save adequate water. Surprisingly few people we crossed paths with on the hike, and a couple of them with dogs. We didn’t want to take our older dog (and rightly so it turns out) due to lack of shade throughout. Overall a great hike with stunning views, and would thoroughly recommend!

off road driving
28 days ago

Took the kids on a rainy day. Didn't go all the way in. Trail is what everyone says below. Stock clearance may pay the price... I'd do it again on an overnighter. How do I add pictures?

Cool cactus. Easy walk.

hiking
rocky
28 days ago

Great trail to see a variety of cactus.

hiking
29 days ago

Fun trail and easy walk. It can be windy and cold early morning so bring a jacket. Only saw a couple other people, nice escape from the crowds.

This is a trail I've been wanting to do for a long time but felt intimidated by the fact that it is technically trespassing. However, I have never heard of anyone being arrested or fined for doing it so I decided to risk it. A moderately skilled mountain biker can do this trail fairly quickly. I parked off the side of Carrizo Gorge Road just beyond where it goes under I-8. I rode my bike a little further down the road and found a trail over to the train tracks near the entrance to the Anza resort. It took me about three hours to ride out to Goat Canyon and back. My first thrill of the day came about 1.5 miles in as I rounded a bend and spotted three bighorn sheep on the hillside, a ram and two ewes. The ram and one of the ewes ran up the side of the mountain and the other ewe went down towards an old boxcar that had tumbled down the gorge a long time ago. As mentioned in at least one other review the first long tunnel is closed off from the south end but there is a bypass trail around it. This trail is pretty difficult to ride because of all of the cholla cactus that grows along it. I would recommend walking most of it. About 10-15 years ago a mountain biker lost his balance and tumbled over the side of the cliff. There is video footage of his fall on youtube. It looks horrendous but he lived and was able to make it out on his own. There is another long tunnel before the Goat Canyon trestle that is still open. This was a little spooky riding through. Once you are in a little ways it is almost completely dark with strange echoing noises. However I was able to ride down the center of the tracks with just the bump, bump, bump from the railroad ties and only slight debris. Eventually you will see the light at the other end of the tunnel but it is still a long way before you actually exit it. Once out of this tunnel it wasn't much further to the big wooden trestle spanning Goat Canyon. This was really cool to finally see and a little unnerving riding over. There are wood planks and metal grating along each side of the track. Becareful because some sections look rotted and loose. As I was riding over the trestle a strong wind whipped through the canyon and made it even more unnerving. Since it is trespassing I would recommend not doing this trail at all. However, if you are so inclined I would suggest not doing it alone. This is remote and rugged country and very few people traverse it.

Load More