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Mile High Mountain is a 12.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Borrego Springs, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from November until April.

Length 12.3 mi Elevation gain 4,675 ft Route type Out & Back

Backpacking

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

Off trail

No shade

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Contact
Tips
Getting There

As of June 2020, trails are open but the visitor center and restrooms remains closed due to COVID-19. This 12+ mile hike takes 10 hours if done correctly and you will gain well over 5,000 feet of elevation. The hike is strenuous due to the long and difficult route. Once you get high enough up, you are rewarded with stunning views of the Salton Sea. The most direct route up the mountain is the ridge forming the west wall of Palo Verde Canyon. After walking towards the canyon opening about a mile, walk another 1.5 miles up the canyon to 1,900 ft and then look for a faint steep trail up to the ridge-line. There is a sharp bend just before you get to 1,900 ft.

Turnout for parking, you're on your own after that.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park 760-767-4684 recording 760-767-4205 visitor center

Study the route carefully before going. The trail is faint to non-existent. Bring a GPS and spare battery. It gets cold at night so bring lightweight warm clothing in case something happens. Let someone know where you went and when you expect to be back. This trail is rarely hiked. There is no water. Cell phone reception is lousy.

From Borrego Springs, follow highway S-22 (Palm Canyon Drive, Pegleg Road and Borrego Salton Seaway) generally east for about 13 miles to mile 31.8 where you will find Thimble Trail (dirt road with no sign) teeing off to the south. Park in the small gravel parking lot just to the north of the T-intersection.

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Reviews (5)
Photos (24)
Recordings (3)
Completed (9)
James Harvey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 19, 2018
Hiking

This hike has some beautiful views and is great if you’re looking to put some tough, leg-burning miles into your boots. The first challenge is picking up the trail. There is basically no maintained trail from the road to the canyon where the trail really starts. We scrambled around the foothills for about an hour before finding the correct canyon. After a short walk up the canyon, the route cuts up a very steep portion of the canyon’s western wall. This turn was easy to miss and the trail is barely perceptible in some parts. The gravely, cactus-y wash underfoot was pretty unstable and made for some hairy scrambling. Once we made it to the ridge line, the trail became easier to follow, but the terrain underfoot remained very challenging, steep and narrow. At several points, a misstep in the crumbly wash could have meant a serious fall, injury or worse. We ended up turning around about halfway in. Bring a lot of water and proper footwear for this one. I would not recommend doing it alone. I also would not want to descend in the dark, so leave plenty of daylight. This trail is great if you’re looking for a long, rugged, somewhat daring ridge scramble. It rewards you with beautiful views and solitude, but is not for the faint of heart.

Robert May
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 25, 2018
Backpacking

Better views than Rabbit Peak! We took a different and much easier route up following the ridge to Villager and crossing over the ridge to Mile High Peak and then back.

David Proulx
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 28, 2017
Hiking
First to Review

Your typical Anza cactus fest. Amazing views at the top. This one is steep. Kinda like a longer San Ysidro Mtn.

Anthony Peters
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 20, 2019
Hiking
View Anthony's Recording
John Graham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 18, 2019
Hiking
View John's Recording