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Hellhole Canyon

MODERATE 100 reviews

Hellhole Canyon is a 5.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Borrego Springs, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from October until May.

Distance: 5.1 miles Elevation Gain: 977 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

views

waterfall

wildlife

rocky

scramble

no shade

no dogs

hiking
bugs
no shade
over grown
rocky
scramble
4 months 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.

hiking
bugs
no shade
scramble
5 months ago

hiking
bugs
no shade
off trail
rocky
scramble
5 months ago

Did this hike at the end of April. Started out around 7:30am with lots of sun and great temps but by the time we got back to the parking lot around 11am it was really getting hot. Several hiking groups passed us as we descended with many people only carrying a small water bottle. If hiking late spring and summer be sure to bring a lot of water. As others have stated the first half is a nice easy gradual uphill hike and at first, you think there is no way there can be a waterfall up the canyon. About halfway the trail you can spot the oasis in the distance. As you near the palm trees the trail starts to disappear a bit but if you navigate the path of the stream and palm trees you will eventually find the trickle of water, a small pool, and a nice shady area. At the waterfall, there were crane flys EVERYWHERE. We did have to do quite a bit of scrambling up large boulders in some places and at one point had to crawl through a small hole under a boulder. Watch out for the cactus when crawling around. A fellow hiker passed us on his way down and warned us of snakes on the trail. We didn't see any but be warned that Rattlesnakes do frequent the area. We didn't have a problem with bees like other reviewers but we did see them around.

hiking
no shade
scramble
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked this trail March 30 and the wildflowers were amazing. The last 1/2 mile or so is really kind of a scramble through a narrow valley without a clear trail. If you’re up for a little extra adventure it’s great fun, but definitely a change of pace from the beginning of the trail. We started in the early afternoon and it was definitely hot and exposed. Overall, would go again!

hiking
rocky
scramble
6 months ago

I loved this hike. Challenging, but not exhausting. Wear good gripping shoes as you will be scrambling quite often. It feels like you are going off trail then suddenly you see the trail again. Just follow the stream and you will be fine. Lots of different paths intermingled along this hike so you have options for moderate scrambling of hard climbs. Beautiful day with a breeze. A little pool at the end to wade in and refresh before you descent. Absolutely beautiful!

hiking
6 months ago

This was a nice hike with some decent elevation. The wildflowers were amazing and had a few days left in them, in my humble opinion, so go soon. The hike stated 2.5 miles to the falls but the falls we saw at 2.5 miles was 2 feet. People we talked with said there was a great big falls another 2.5 miles beyond. Expect some scrambling as you go up to the falls and to the 2nd falls, if you choose that.

hiking
rocky
scramble
6 months ago

Several friends and I did this hike during our trip to see the 2019 Superbloom We made the catastrophic mistake of coming in the midday heat, but still had a great time. The flowers along the way were lovely, as others have pointed out, but the oasis and falls at the end were the coolest part! It was insane to see such a powerful waterfall in such a hot, dry place. The palms and boulders provided some nice shade to stop and rest for a late lunch. The wall opposite the falls was coveted in ferns and we saw some frogs up there too-a really special place! Some safety concerns; bring twice the water you think you’ll need-it’s uphill on the way out and so hot that you’ll go through it faster than you expect. There are also several rock scrambles. This is not the best hike for very young children or pets.

6 months ago

We just hiked this trail during the March wildflower superbloom and it was beautiful. Colorful flowers for the first half of the trail and then things got more difficult for these two old guys. My friend experienced knee problems and stopped a little time after entering the boulder area and I kept going on my quest to reach the falls. Sadly I reached a point within sight of the falls where my boots just couldn't get a safe grip on the rocks and I reluctantly turned back. The final portion of this trail is not quite as easy as some "experienced" reviewers" might imply. All in all it was an awesome trek and I highly recommend it.

hiking
6 months ago

Absolutely awesome! Easy but beautiful start with desert super bloom. Then challenging to the falls and beyond. Must go again!

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike with beautiful scenery. Not as crowded as the falls. Perfect way to spend a spring morning!

hiking
6 months ago

Good bird watching in this area, but can be overrun with people.

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike today! The weather was wonderful! The blooming flowered were spectacular! Eye candy everywhere you looked! Waterfall at the half way point! Definitely a must see this time of year!

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike!

hiking
no shade
over grown
rocky
7 months ago

Fun hike, short, beginning is peaceful and flat and as you get 3/4 up it becomes overgrown and a bit confusing but eventually you make it to a small waterfall. We came in March so maybe another time will be better suited for pumping falls. Palms were beautiful too!

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