Summary: A hike along the Borrego Palm Canyon Trail will reveal many features which render it the most traveled trail within the magnificent Anza-Borrego State Desert Park. Beavertail and catclaw cactus, desert willow, brittlebush, rock formations, ocotillo, chuparosa, hummingbirds, and sometimes even bighorn sheep greet one as he or she ascends the the trail's generally upward slope and eventually crosses into a delightfully shady desert oasis complete with California fan palms and a waterfall. A printed brochure describing the flora and fauna at the numbered signposts is usually available at the trailhead. Be sure to carry plenty of water-there is little shade until one arrives at the oasis (after about 1.25 mi.). To travel to the end of the oasis requires a bit of rock scrambling, and lugsoles should be worn as there are slippery and rocky surfaces throughout the entire trail. Crowds are least evident in the fall (before Thanksgiving) and in the spring after Easter.
Trailhead: From the city of Julian, travel east on Highway 78 for approximately nineteen miles until reaching Highway S3 (Yaqui Pass Road). Continue for twelve miles to the city of Borrego Springs. Turn left (north) on Highway S22 (Palm Canyon Drive) and travel one mile-look for the signed junction just prior to reaching the Anza-Borrego State Desert Park Visitor Center. Turn right at the sign and continue for about one mile to the Borrego Palm Canyon Campground (signed). A separate parking area for the Borrego Palm Canyon Trail and a kiosk where water and information are available on a seasonal basis are located at the west end of the campground. (Lat:33.27021 Lon:-116.41777)
Trail Guides for Borrego Palm Canyon Nature Trail:
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Winter,
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: Anza-Borrego State Desert Park-(760) 767-5311. Visitor Center-(760) 767-4205
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Patricia Barnes, who has posted 23 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 2 Submit your own review
Reviewed by J&L Research on 4/9/2012
We did the hike on April 5 of this year and thoroughly enjoyed it. The weather was in the high 70's with clear skies. Saw plenty of flowering plants, fast little lizards, enormous amounts of birds and bees but unfortunately no Big Horn sheep. Started off in the early a.m. and back by eleven which is the time to go since it seemed most of the crowd started hiking later. Saw many people carrying little or no water. Even with mild temperatures a hike in the desert requires water. We each when through over a liter. Overall a great hike and would highly recommend it. The Palm grove finale is worth all the steps. Follow more on the J&L Research and Exploration blog.
Reviewed by Linda on 3/21/2012
My husband and I loved the hike! But unfortunately we started at the visitor center which made the trek twice as long. We thought the trail would start after the .7 mile trail to campground, but it was another over half mile to trailhead. We were very tired to say the least on our way back to car. The oasis was lovely! We crashed there for some time.
Reviewed by linda on 4/24/2009
hightlight of our trip.saw long horn sheep.lots of plants and a surprise at the end water falls and huge palm trees loved it. be sure to bring water and good shoes. and a nice lunch to enjoy before you head back..
Reviewed by paa on 3/8/2009
Nice winter hike! We went around New Years 2009, in the late afternoon, just after the sun was going behind the peaks, so it was nice and cool and pleasant. Got back just as it was starting to get dark. The oasis is really cool and would have loved to have been able to spend more time there.
Reviewed by M-Life on 12/25/2008
I loved this hike! I am a big girl and new to hiking and was pleased to see my endurance is improving! Bring your trekking poles for stability over the rocks and crossing the "stream." We didn't see any animals but the boulders and sheared cliffs are beautiful and the sound of the stream was lovely. The "trail" was tough to find at times but navigation was easy as you can see the oasis goal. I can't imagine doing this hike in the summer...no shade and virtually no water. Makes for a good winter hike with someone you love! :-)
Reviewed by Eldho on 4/29/2008
Hiked this trail from the campground trailhead (1.5 miles one way). Very good hike. First mile is fairly easy. Last half mile is rocky and easy to miss the trail, but impossible to get lost because of the terrain and landscape. The oasis provides a very dramatic end to the hike. I saw about 20 or so sheep (endangered) on the way.
Reviewed by Dave on 12/11/2007
Nice hike and cool weather with spotty drizzle (December 8). Stream flowing well. I continued up the canyon past the first palm grove another couple of miles. There are some nice small waterfalls and another palm grove up the canyon . . . some boulder scrambling was required. The trail is still poorly marked, but virtually impossible to get lost. The easiest trail up the canyon beyond the first palm grove is to follow the stream bed.
Reviewed by Nicky G. on 7/4/2007
It is a cool little hike. I went on 6/22/07. It was 2Pm and 110 degrees. The spring had minimal water and at least 20 big-horn sheep here near the palms as it was the only water in sight.The palms are an awesome sight, A friend and I hiked it quickly and it took somewhat of a toll on us and we are both in decent shape when it comes to hiking.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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