Hellhole Canyon is a 5.1 mile out and back trail located near Borrego Springs, California and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from October until May.
This "trail" is a bit scattered. For one, there really ins't a trail, you just go into the canyon. There are 2 set of falls. The first set is not too difficult to get to but then you can climb up the falls on the left side of the rocks and go to the second set of falls. Past the first set, there really isn't much of a trail to follow, you just go the best route possible. It's a bit sketchy up there and you must tackle rocks, loose ground, boulders and palms/plants. You think you're on the "best" of all the trails and then it's blocked with no way around, so you have to re-route a lot. We finally came to a point, past the second falls, where we were crawling up and slipping on the loose ground/rocks, to call it a day and go back. We figured we had gone way past the "trail" at that point.
This hike to the palms is a bit tricky since there are no signs showing where to go. We saw many trails that hikers did but many times, we had to come back and tried another since we were blocked with huge rocks to climb... Suggestions: Pls put signs to indicate which way to take..Despite this, the place is wonderful as many spots in the park!!!
Please note that I am writing this review almost one and half years after the hike took place on October 7, 2015. I noticed there was no reviews of this satisfying hike so I decided to post mine. Very easy access to the trail head right off Highway 22. Less than 10 minutes from Christmas Circle and a large dirt parking lot. Be aware that there are several trails leaving from the parking lot. Hellhole Canyon Trail starts level. No switchbacks but a nice mostly level hike through beautiful open desert. You come across three faux grave sites to pound home the point to carry water. The trail was lightly used on this warm October day. I was surprised since there only a few trails in the park that do not require a four wheel drive to get to the trailhead. No litter at all but we did come across a few very old tin cans that had a "historical" look about them. No, we did not come across any mountain lions. As we hiked the trail it lead to a canyon and the open desert slowly
disappeared. I was informed there would be water dripping down canyon walls. We heard the water dripping but due to the increasing larger boulders and undergrowth that we had to negotiate we decided to stop at the outer edge of the oasis to relax and eat. My favorite all-time hiking partner is an expert at locating Indian grinding mortar holes. She found another one. We will hopefully return in the future and go further.