Indianhead Mountain via Borrego Palm Canyon

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Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Indianhead Mountain via Borrego Palm Canyon is a 9.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Borrego Springs, California that offers scenic views and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 9.1 miles Elevation Gain: 3,218 feet Route Type: Out & Back




nature trips

rock climbing

bird watching


over grown



off trail

no dogs

Take the Borrego Palm Canyon trail all the way to the end and continue on in the canyon until right before you reach a fork in the canyon about 3.5 miles in. This hike will beat you up as it is off trail in an area of cactus and agave. This hike is through the canyon and basically straight up from there. You gain about 1500-2000 ft in a mile or so. This is one of those hikes you may only want to do once.

Mon Mar 12 2018

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.

Mon Feb 26 2018

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.......

Fri Mar 24 2017

follow the water. tough to know where the trail is. i should have downloaded more pics and directions. we ended up turning around because no cell service and had no idea if we missed the turn off. in hindsight...i think the river looks like it splits. right at the river split next time.

Mon Mar 06 2017

Follow the ridge line! It's faster up and down. Someone placed a couple cairns before you reach the fork in the canyon that diverted us and another group to begin the ascent too early. I was tempted to remove them on the way back down but didn't see them and I was too tired to search for them! This is a very strenuous hike but the view is amazing.

Sun Jan 29 2017

This hike will beat you up. The carnage that cactus and agave can inflict is unreal. This hike is tough. Through the canyon and basically straight up from there. You gain about 1500-2000 ft in a mile or so. This is one of those hikes you only need to do once. :) Mother nature definitely won the war.

Sun Apr 01 2018