Maidenhair Falls via Hellhole Canyon Trail

MODERATE 65 reviews

Maidenhair Falls via Hellhole Canyon Trail is a 5.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Borrego Springs, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from October until May.

DISTANCE
5.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
974 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

hot springs

views

waterfall

wild flowers

no dogs

hiking
6 months ago

Nice trail. I went mid June when it was 100 degrees out. Not too much shade around. Very easy climb. Good enough to take kids on. Bring plenty of water and also more water.

7 months ago

Just dont forget a hat or something to shield the sun!! Cant recommend that enough!

hiking
8 months ago

We went the second weekend in March during the super bloom on a Sunday when everyone on the planet descended on the teeny town of Borrego.
We parked at the visitors center so, added over a mile to the total distance.
I loved this hike! Of course, all the flowers were amazing but, the amount of water we encountered in the desert was the big reward.
It was an extra warm 92 degrees for early Spring so, I struggled a bit (I'm 52) on the long, slow incline.
BRING PLENTY OF WATER!!
I finished off my 2 liter camelback.
Again, we started from the visitors center. I would recommend starting from the trailhead although, the visitors center is great if you've never been.

hiking
8 months ago

Really fun hike...The waterfall although small it was beautiful...Get there early to avoid crowds and bring plenty of water, especially if it's a hot day.

hiking
8 months ago

Highly recommend going out some time soon while all the flowers are blooming. I started on the trail at sunrise and i was the only car in the parking lot, but by the time I was leaving the place was jam packed (even though it was a weekday). Definitely recommend going early! You'll get the sunrise (and that golden hour light), cooler temps, and less crowds!

hiking
8 months ago

Completed this hike today 3/25/17. The wildflowers were in bloom. The winds and cool weather made the trek easy to moderate today. Im sure during the summer this trail could be difficult if one doesn't prepare for the heat and bring plenty of water. Today though the weather made this trail inviting. I almost wished Maidenhair Falls was a few miles further. The trail gets lost several times during the final leg of the hike as you will encounter several areas where you must rock scramble at the palm oasis. Stay to the left and you'll have an easy time relocating the trail.

hiking
8 months ago

Fun trail. As a newbie the bouldering near the end was a little intimidating but overall a great hike!

hiking
9 months ago

Go early! This is a popular and crowded trail.

hiking
9 months ago

Great trail, especially after all this rain. Caution: when you see the sign "riding and hiking trail" with a left-arrow, please keep right to stay on the Maidenhair waterfalls trail. The left trail is a 6-mile trip to the Culp Vally campground.

9 months ago

Very long hike, climbing, going thru the bushes .
Path unmarked closer to the falll by the palm trees.

hiking
9 months ago

Hiked this last early Fall starting around 9am. The first quarter you are totally exposed so make sure you have adequate sun protection. Around the halfway point you hit a little incline and go through some boulders - trail can be easy to miss here. It gets cool toward the last third or so of the hike as you enter the palm oasis. Hike all the way to the end and treat yourself with the waterfall. We had it to ourselves when we went. By noon groups started to to trickle and the lot was full.

hiking
9 months ago

Full lot at trailhead when I went on a Sunday during infrequent rain showers. Lots of couples and groups out to see the wildflowers starting to bloom. Managed to find the Falls to myself. If you follow the alltrails track closely you will avoid following well worn footpaths to dead ends. Enjoy the running water and fan palms as you make your way up. Lots of birds and some frogs will add music to the sound of the water. Please pack out your orange peels and everything else you pack in with you.

hiking
11 months ago

Even after the substantial recent rains the falls were not flowing yesterday. It was still a very worthwhile hike with some really unique scenery, especially deeper into the canyon. I'd do it again, especially when the falls are flowing!

hiking
11 months ago

Worth the effort. Not running on 12/21/16, but I can't wait to gobback when it is.

hiking
Monday, November 28, 2016

Fun hike. Interesting change over terrain.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Great

hiking
Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Made the hike in mid April and loved it! Very moderate smooth incline to start off, with beautiful desert wildlife. As you enter the canyon, the trail becomes more inclined and requires quite a bit of bouldering to eventually make your way to the falls. You pass several oases before you get to the falls, and they become more lush and beautiful the deeper in the canyon you go! Another highlight was seeing big horn sheep high above on the canyon walls on our way back down! Keep an eye out for these majestic creatures.

hiking
Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The hike through the valley is beautiful this time of year (mid March) as all the cacti and plants are blooming. As you hike further on into the canyon, everything becomes more lush and green. There's a waterfall in the desert; need I say more?

hiking
Saturday, August 08, 2015

This trail was definitely not bad for the first few miles. Wide open area, easy trail to follow. Once you get to the first set of palms the trail drastically changes. I believe the spring/pool/falls of the first oasis is where many people call it quits. After the long walk in open desert under the sun, it's easy to see why most people stop there and turn around. Supposedly there is a second set of falls further up the canyon. However I was not able to find it. My friend and I hiked and scrambled for at least 2 hours up the canyon post first pool. The trail diverges every few yards making it impossible to follow a trail. There is a clear target by following along the creek & going up canyon it continues to narrow. After the long struggle, we called it quits, though I'm certain we were extremely close to the larger falls. Wish I could share more.

Quick tips:
Be prepared for sun exposure. Be prepared to scramble major boulders. Bring water & snacks. If you're happy with the first pool, it's ok to turn around. Want a butt kicking adventure, try to find the secondary falls.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Great views of the desert. Strenuous hike up as it climbs from the desert floor. Go as far as you like and turn as the views start immediately.

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