Explore the most popular trails near Ranchita with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Ranchita, California Map
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Did this as a day hike in windy conditions. The trail is mostly in good shape, only as it passes by Mt Wilson does it get a bit more ambiguous to follow, then completely peters out as the low desert comes into view. The scenery itself is reason enough to hike this trail, and by itself it is enjoyable as well.
Access to the trailhead is via a dirt/sand road barely the width of a pickup truck. Badly rutted, with a few minor boulder crossings. Tried both parts of the road, from Montezuma Valley road S-22 near the switchbacks leading down to Borrego Springs to the trailhead, and then out to S-22 via the other leg, for the final mile crossing over to Old Wilson Road which is in much better shape. I recommend only using the first leg, it is manageable for high clearance vehicles whereas towards Old WIlson Rd there are long ruts about 18" deep which are difficult to avoid. Also note the trailhead can only accommodate 2 vehicles for parking, however 1/4 mile West is a cluster of campsites with more room to park.

off road driving
10 months ago

This was a fun trail done in a Jeep. Trail was done mostly in 2wd. Will definitely head back in the spring the flower should be cool out here.

BLOCKED halfway in. Fun trail to drive through. We started on the North side, and made our way down. About 5 miles or so onto the trail, an abandoned trailer blocks the road, and you can't pass it. It looks like a local blocked it on purpose, and the area around it (local inhabitants) didn't seem very friendly. So, expect to be stopped midway. there may be a way around it, but we didn't risk it, nor explore the area to find another route

We started at the Jasper trail /CRHT on S-22. then jumped off the Jasper trail onto the cut off for the old CRHT to Culp Valley road and followed that to the Wilson trail head. it's a very desolate trail. We didn't even see wildlife other than a hare and a deer. The trail disappears in more than one area, probably due to the 2013 fire and numbers of users dwindling. Downloading the map and using GPS to stay on point was necessity. The boulders and rock formations were really fantastic. The foliage is starting to recover in certain areas and it is apparent at some point in the near future the not-so-used trail will become overgrown, but hopefully not disappear completely. As you near the end on the trail ( the last mile) there are lots of sandy areas to camp. Climb any of the boulder hills and the views are phenomenal. We could see all the way to the Salton Sea. There is no water or chance of water at all anywhere on the trail. The day before we left, we drove to the Wilson/pinyon ridge trail head and hiked 5 gallons of water a little ways down the trail. On backpack day 1, we carried them and cached a gallon here and there along the trail for the return trip. In the end every went through 7-8 liters of water.

off road driving
Sunday, June 18, 2017

We started on the side of highway 78 and ended on Montezuma. The drive was very doable in our off road equipped Ram. We were in 4 wheel drive the whole time for our comfort but can be done in 2 wheel drive with off road tires. In some places the bushes make it narrow but can be avoided if you take it slow. The last mile had no trespassing signs but the road doesn't get close to the homes so just drive right through and don't worry about it. This trail can easily be done in less than a hour. Have fun!

Hmm when I hit it, it was on private property so I didn't go through.

Beautiful;Astonishing. I can't wait to come back

hiking
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Epic hike with amazing views and tons of places to camp. The trail can be a little tricky towards the end as it washes out. Kinda just becomes a rock scramble free for all. Lots of cool spots to chill, and plenty of mini peaks to bag. Would be a great place to do some orienteering as well. I will definitely be back to this one.

hiking
Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Filled with great sites, beautiful oasis, and cool streams on water this trail is one of my favourites.

hiking
Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Fantastic camping once you're away from vehicle access points - plan for as much sand as rock if you take the trail rather than the roads. A great walk in from the Coyote Creek crossing. I've found plenty of water every time I've made it into the canyon. While I haven't seen a cougar there, I've had the hair-raising scream come from what seemed like just beyond the light of the fire (winter), sending everyone scurrying to their tents for a 'good' night's sleep...

hiking
Friday, June 26, 2015

Hiked up to the "eye" last year, beautiful Oasis at the top, I would classify the canyon hike as difficult, there's no well marked trail once you start up the canyon, you have to find the easiest path, we used webbing to help each other scramble over/up rocks. Water is super cold up there.

off road driving
Sunday, January 04, 2015

A favorite place to go and explore. We go frequently and always have a good day...my ford focus can make most of the trip although after the rain it can get a little sketchy.

I did this trail in my silverado with my wife and 6 month old baby and still felt like it was easy. Kind of a high speed trail. Only one spot that I needed to slow down and put it in 4 wheel drive.

hiking
Monday, September 30, 2013

Hiked the Sheep Canyon Trail (Anza-Borrego) last March with my son's Boy Scout Troop. It was his first hike after joining the troop and he was looking forward to it.

It took 4-wheel drive vehicles to get to the trailhead. Once there we loaded up and headed up the initial, rocky hillside trail. I was told it was to be about 4+ miles to our destination. It was a fun day of hiking on the very open, sandy trails with our fully loaded packs. A few stops along the way to rest and take care of blisters (glad I brought some moleskin) before getting to where we would setup camp. A shorter hike from there led us to a creek where we were able to filter water to refill our packs before settling in for dinner and a night out under the stars.

Fun time had by all. It was an OK trail, but not high on my list to get back to.

hiking
Friday, September 06, 2013

A scenic 9 mile hike through great wildflowers (in season) to a ridge that overlooks the Anza Borrego Desert State Park valley floor below. (Date hiked: April 22, 2011.) Read the full write-up at: http://www.greeneadventures.com/2011/05/22/hiking-to-wilson-peak-via-pinyon-ridge-in-anza-borrego/

hiking
Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Most amazing Oasis at the end of this hike. Backpacked in and camped at Sheep Canyon. Day hiked both Canyons then hiked back out. Amazing! Can't believe you're in the desert once you get there!

off road driving
Monday, January 02, 2012

My husband and I took our modified Jeep Cherokee XJ on this trail. We had a blast! There are some parts that are uneven and vehicles with low ground clearance might find themselves high-centered. It took us about 45 minutes to complete and was enjoyable the entire time!

off road driving
6 months ago

backpacking
Sunday, November 05, 2017

off road driving
Monday, May 01, 2017

backpacking
Wednesday, April 05, 2017

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