Maidenhair Falls via Hellhole Canyon Trail

MODERATE 87 reviews

Maidenhair Falls via Hellhole Canyon Trail is a 4.9 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.

4.9 miles
971 feet
Out & Back




nature trips

trail running

hot springs



wild flowers

no dogs

15 days ago

Perfect weather today to hike up to the falls in Palm Trees.

1 month ago

You can make this a great day hike, or camp out right before the canyon narrows for an awesome overnight. We camped out and had an amazing time. Bring lots of water as there is none on the trail, and depending on the time you go, may not be any at the falls.

2 months ago

I enjoyed this hike, the scramble over rocks through the canyon was especially fun. It was nice to be able to see a few different landscapes on such a short little hike. Walked back and night and lost the trail a bit but since it's in between 2 little mountains it's easy to stay in the right direction.

trail running
3 months ago

Fun run from campground to trail head. Slight uphill grade all the way to the falls but easily runnable until the boulder hopping begins!

3 months ago

This hike is more about the destination than the journey as it's mostly barren desert transverse for long stretches and it grades upwards, not aggressively but just noticably enough. The hike back is better as you get a superior chance to walk through the palm groves and the slight grade down makes it more enjoyable. Lots of scrambling, rather fun. Towards the final mile or two the sudden transformations from barren desert to lush forest-like surroundings is incredible. Three groves each with an amphitheater you can hang about at, arguably the best lounging spots in all of Anza. The falls, though not currently running, is hypnotically tranquil, like something out of an eastern philosophy movie. Went both during day and as a night hike, enjoyed both immensely. Surreal during the night, even more so during the day as we had to cut through a group of cult-like church goers dressed in white robes gathered around to preach about whatever it is white robes rock climbers preach about.

3 months ago

Nice hike, mostly predictable grade for the first ~1.5 miles. Tons of cholla and a few ocotillos here and there. Trail has a few bouldering spots, with one particular area requiring an inelegant shuffle up a very slick rock (or perhaps a helping hand from someone uptrail). Falls were not running, but there was still standing water and plenty of water plants around.

4 months ago

Flat sandy walk into mountain

11 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.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

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

Saturday, April 01, 2017

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.
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.

Monday, March 27, 2017

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.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

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!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

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.

Friday, March 24, 2017

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

Monday, March 13, 2017

Go early! This is a popular and crowded trail.

Monday, March 13, 2017

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.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

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

Saturday, March 04, 2017

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.

Monday, February 27, 2017

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.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

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!

Friday, December 23, 2016

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

Monday, November 28, 2016

Fun hike. Interesting change over terrain.

Sunday, September 11, 2016


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.

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?

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.

18 days ago

30 days ago

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