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Hellhole Canyon Trail to Maidenhair Falls

Difficult

Trail

5.2 mile 8.3 kilometer out and back
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 953' 290 m
Descent: -952' -290 m
High: 1,855' 565 m
Low: 902' 275 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 24% (13°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Map Key

Trail shared by Anne Travels

Partial-trail-scramble up a desert canyon to palms and a waterfall.

Anne Travels

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife

Family Friendly Great for older children who love a good adventure.

Overview

Palms, deciduous trees, cacti, desert wash, rugged canyon, a waterfall - you'll see it all along the Hellhole Canyon Trail. But be ready for scrambling small rocks and even a few boulders.

Need to Know

The waterfall is seasonal and may or may not be flowing depending on current conditions. Check at the visitor center before hiking.

Description

The path begins at the parking area a few miles south of the main Anza-Borrego Visitor Center. Follow the trail westward into the narrowing canyon between the mountains. Drop into the wash after about 1.3 miles and turn left to follow the wash into the canyon.

After entering the wash, the trail sometimes becomes obscured by rocks, desert flora, and the rugged terrain. Light scrambling may be required to weave around or over boulders. At some point while scrambling up the wash, you'll begin to see water in the main channel.

Arrive at the Hellhole Palms at about mile 2.3. The palms are a welcome respite from the hot sun on a warm day.

The route beyond the palms is noticeably more difficult and more hemmed-in - while there were views before back down the canyon, the foliage makes seeing difficult more than a few feet in any direction. It's worth the trek, though, to arrive at Maidenhair Falls at about mile 2.6.

Flora & Fauna

Deciduous trees, palm trees, yucca, etc.

Contacts

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  4.0 from 1 vote

#3672

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Hike Rankings

#547

in California

#3,672

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99 Since Feb 3, 2020
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Photos

Among the Hellhole Palms
Feb 3, 2020 near Borrego…, CA
Maidenhair Falls in Hellhole Canyon
Feb 3, 2020 near Borrego…, CA
Hellhole Canyon
Feb 3, 2020 near Borrego…, CA

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