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Rabbit Peak and Villager Peak Trail

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Santa Rosa Wilderness

Rabbit Peak and Villager Peak Trail is a 23.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Borrego Springs, California that offers scenic views. The trail is only recommended for very experienced adventurers and is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking.

Distance: 23.8 miles Elevation Gain: 8,015 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

camping

hiking

views

rocky

scramble

no dogs

Hike north from S-22 across the desert floor for a mile, then continue straight up for the next several miles to Villager Peak. From there, either spend the night and summit Rabbit Peak in the morning, or continue on and spend the night on Rabbit Peak. For the adventurous hikers, this could also be done as an excruciating day hike.

hiking
off trail
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

The trail up to villager is faint and requires some lite scrambling, the trail from villager to rabbit is nonexistent, but don’t let that discourage you :) just stick to the ridge and you will be fine. This hike was beautiful and intensely challenging (also very windy) We backpacked up villager in the afternoon and bagged rabbit peak the following day.

hiking
4 months ago

Did this as a day hike a few months back. Absolutely beautiful hike. Very challenging as well. Bring plenty of water and drop it along the route.

backpacking
bugs
no shade
rocky
9 months ago

Hiked up Villager Peak Sunday. Camped at the trail head the night before to get an early start -- well, 7am. I packed 9 liters of water with electrolytes. Had planned to spend the night at Rabbit Peak, but probably needed 4 liters more of water to make it there and back (now I know), so it turned into a day hike. Someone stashed about 5 liters of water at the improvised campground 4.8k feet up, but I left it there. The temperature was pleasant, unlike in my abandoned hike early July. This was also a survey hike to see what it would take to do Cactus-to-Clouds on Mt San Jacinto. This was a work out hike. The views of Anza-Borrego were nice, though. No other hikers were on the trail. Met one hiker on Saturday at the trail head who had followed to cairns into the canyon, which is the wrong way. Some flies and other bugs along the trail.

backpacking
Mon Apr 08 2019

Hiked this the first weekend of April. The weather on the way up was perfect, lots of gusts and clouds to help us keep cool. We brought two gallons of water each, and were able to get out of there with water to spare. Though, if it were as hot as the second day, (80s) I’d suggest bringing a little more. Personally, I believe villager peak was the most beautiful and enjoyable part of the route. It was mostly a straight shot up, with little flats for recovery. Rabbit peak was a very challenging set of inclines and declines, but was very rewarding to complete. Most of the hike beyond villager was a faint and broken trail. It took regular scanning to trying and stay on it, but I noticed if we just hug the ridge, it would appear again.

hiking
no shade
rocky
Sat Feb 09 2019

This is a nice long hike over rugged terrain with amazing views most of the way. Physically it's not as demanding as the elevation gain may suggest. Mentally it can be quite challenging, due to the unreliable trail (it's more of a patchwork of often-faint paths with many gaps) and incessant hills between Villager and Rabbit. Navigation skills or a device with a long-lasting battery are necessary, though with just a few exceptions it's hard to truly go in the wrong direction during this hike. Some writeups warn about the various prickly plants, but I had no problem avoiding them despite a few close calls. The bigger hazard was the wind, which was strong all day and merciless at Rabbit. When I went early one February morning, there was no one else at the trailhead and I didn't see a soul all day. The remoteness and solitude (and views!) make this a very memorable hike.

backpacking
Sun Dec 23 2018

Rabbit Peak is an ass kicker! We brought 8Liters of water each and came close to running out and had to ration. The views are amazing and well worth the pain. If you’re trying to summit Rabbit the first day, give yourself extra time, the hike up along the ridgeline is tough one, lots of ups and down following very faint use trails and very tedious. The sunrise on Rabbit has to be one of my all time favorites yet!

backpacking
Mon Nov 26 2018

We backpacked up to Villager peak on Sat., November 24, 2018, then day hiked to Rabbit Peak and came down on Sunday. The weather was perfect for the hike. Daytime highs were in the 60s and the nighttime lows were in the 30s. After winds picked up after midnight, the real temperature at Villager Peak was probably in the 20s. But I was sleeping in my 0 degree speeling bag and felt very comfortable.

backpacking
Wed Jan 24 2018

This trail is one of the most challenging, difficult, and mentally exhausting expeditions you will find yourself attempting. It is also one of the most rewarding. It should be reinstated that, if you are wanting anything less than a wicked adventure and like easy-to-follow trails, then pick a different hike. Do not attempt this as a day hike, and have an understanding and respect for the mountains, the desert terrain, and the unpredictability of the two. Navigation skills are essential. The sunset and sunrise on Rabbit are not to be missed!

backpacking
Tue Jan 02 2018

This is a very strenuous up and down hike over sand, rock and scree. The trail up to Villager is easy to follow, even at night with flashlights. It gets fainter but exists up to Rabbit. We backpacked up to the turn off to Mile-High and day hiked to Rabbit and back. The next morning we hiked over to Mile-High and back, and then descended the mountain. The views from Villager and Mile-High were awesome.

Sat Apr 29 2017

Love this rolling ridge in early spring, gorgeous views.

backpacking
Mon Feb 27 2017

This hike is TOUGH. Did it as an overnight. Camped out on Rabbit. Saw some other people who camped at Villager. Either way, you're gonna be sore. Views abound, lotsa wind. My new pick for most difficult San Diego hike for sure. Truly satisfying.

hiking
6 months ago

backpacking
Wed Feb 08 2017

hiking
Tue Jan 20 2015