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Borrego Palm Canyon

MODERATE 436 reviews

Borrego Palm Canyon is a 2.9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Borrego Springs, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from October until May.

Distance: 2.9 miles Elevation Gain: 462 feet Route Type: Loop

kid friendly

hiking

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

no dogs

There may be temporary closures due to weather conditions. Please check with the park before visiting: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=638 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: kid-friendly, a multitude of waypoints through which to explore the natural history, and minimal effort for outstanding natural values.

hiking
no shade
rocky
7 days ago

Beautiful area that’s so full of life. The trail is hot and there are signs all over reminding people to bring lots of water, and they mean it. Even in October, the temp got well over 100 and there’s no shade most of the way. However, the oasis at the end is a fantastic place to relax and recover. The trail isn’t too taxing but weather definitely makes it tougher. It worth the hike just to see the incredible growth and giant native palms at the end.

recorded Borrego Palm Canyon

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful desert hike; The Bighorn sheep/Borrego came down to the trail to visit with our group & get a drink; Was a momma, dad & one little sheep in training; Curvy path follows the creek/stream up to the large boulders & waterfall. There is a very cool climb up through the rocks (sort of a vertical tunnel) from the bottom of the waterfall that my kids & I really liked. A little further up there is the palm 'grove' that gives the trail its name. That portion (& the whole trail, really) is flanked by steep, rocky canyon walls & is quite awesome. The palm grove area is pretty impressive & gives hikers some welcome shade before their return hike. BTW, at night (we camped there too), we used blacklights to look for Scorpions & saw 60-70 of em... they are everywhere & their camoflage is so good you can't even notice them without the black light. Very neat to see (mostly little ones, but a few big-daddies). Really enjoyed the experience & would recommended it.

hiking
4 months ago

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!

hiking
4 months ago

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

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

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

awesome trails!

hiking
no shade
5 months ago

Fun hike to an unexpectedly lush and gorgeous oasis. Well-marked trail, several good spots to rest under boulders and in the palm grove at the end of the trail; otherwise a toasty hike with limited shade. Worth the effort if you leave early in the day with plenty of water. Saw two big horn sheep!

hiking
no shade
rocky
5 months ago

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
6 months ago

Weather perfect! Nice hike, not a lot of shade. Make our eyou go back to campground side with the Visitor Center...its hidden off the parking lot but well worth going in! Huge waters in there for only $1.50! Great fun stop! Waterfall was great and more water flowing the I thought! Definitely coming back! Company was fantastic! :)

6 months ago

Your bar is high. Hikers, trust the level of difficulty before you pick your tail. See you out there!

hiking
no shade
6 months ago

Beautiful and oasis with waterfall. Come before April. It’s starting to get a little toasty. Flowers are still in bloom, but super bloom has surpassed its peak.

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

great hike for our young family. 7 & 10 yr olds. alternate trail is drier and more boulder hoping. but beautiful. butterflies, bees, beetles, spiders, hummingbirds, rabbits, lizards and of course the wildflowers!

hiking
6 months ago

nice hike. challenging at times but nothing too hard.

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
6 months ago

Went yesterday, flowers in full bloom. Heavily trafficked but beautiful, especially towards the end of the trail where less people were. Alternate trail on the way back was an excellent choice. Spotted a rattle snake and cactuses in full bloom.

hiking
6 months ago

This was a beautiful hike with great rock formations and of course, amazing wild flowers. While the trail doesn’t have a lot of elevation gain, there are enough technical sections to keep it interesting. It’s a very short hike so if you want to add some distance, start at the visitor center and walk to the trial head. This adds about 3 miles and there are beautiful wildflowers along the way.

hiking
no shade
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

We got an early start and enjoyed the beautiful blooming dessert wildflowers. The trail was well marked, crossed a stream three times and enjoyed the palm oasis at the end. Not many hikers at 7:30 am but it was much busier as we were leaving. We enjoyed a nice lunch at shaded picnic tables near the trailhead. The canyon was shady on our way in which made it especially nice.

Amazing trail with beautiful wild flowers! The timing was just right to have the opportunity to get under the waterfall! It was absolutely stunning to see the Oasis in the desert and the waterfall added much more charm to the trail!

hiking
6 months ago

Spectacular wildflowers! More of a walk than a hike. Lots of people there to enjoy the flowing water and desert bloom.

6 months ago

Tons of fun! Hiked it and enjoyed the incredible flowers. Superb experience, the desert wildflowers are out of this world. Most people out on the trail early were birdwatchers, botanists and Eco-friendly sorts. Lovely experience. As the day wore on the trails bunched up with school groups, not so eco friendly traipsing through without careful attention to the delicate flowers and palms. Go early early and take loads of water and snacks. It heats up fast. Sheep up on the rocks, every sort of desert bird, falcons, hummingbirds, beautiful oasis of palms and cool stratified rocks in the canyon.

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