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Hellhole Canyon to Maidenhair Falls

 
Hellhole Canyon to Maidenhair Falls

Page Type: Trip Report

Location: California, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 33.23684°N / 116.44069°W

Object Title: Hellhole Canyon to Maidenhair Falls

 

Page By: nader

Created/Edited: Jan 24, 2015 / May 10, 2015

Object ID: 928103

Hits: 1030 

Page Score: 79.78%  - 11 Votes 

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Overview

Hellhole Canyon sits to the west of Borrego Springs in southern California’s Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. A trail goes up the canyon to a grove of palm trees. Further bushwhacking can take you to a seasonal waterfall known as Maidenhair Falls. When I was in the area, I saw no sign of running water. You could potentially hike further up the canyon to Culp Valley or up the slopes of San Ysidro Mountain but my guidebook says beyond the falls, the bushwhacking becomes extreme.


Hellhole canyon Trail to Maidenhair Falls
Map

Getting There

From Christmas Circle in Borrego Springs, drive 1.5 miles west on Route S-22 to where the road makes a 90 degree turn to the left. Follow the road less than a mile until you see a dirt road and trailhead on the right just before S-22 begins to go up the mountains.

Route

Place
Elevation
Distance
Trailhead
880 ft
zero miles
Grove of palms
1500 ft
2.20 miles
Maidenhair Falls
1760 ft
0.3 miles
Total
-
2.5 miles


The trailhead is common to Hellhole Canyon and California Riding and Hiking Trail. Indianhead Peak is in good view.

Indianhead Peak
Indianhead Peak


Looking up the canyon.

Looking up Hellhole Canyon
Hellhole Canyon


Follow the trail up toward the canyon. After 0.3 miles, California Riding and Hiking Trail splits to the left. Continue straight.

Near trailhead
 
Near Trailhead
 


You will then see three piles of rock resembling graves with a sign saying “they didn’t bring enough water”.

On Hellhole Canyon Trail
 


As you keep going, the canyon begins to form.

Begining of Hellhole Canyon
 
Begining of Hellhole Canyon
 
Begining of Hellhole Canyon
 
Begining of Hellhole Canyon
 


Palm trees appear.

Hellhole Canyon Palms
 
Hellhole Canyon Palms
 


A few deciduous trees can also be seen.

Deciduous Trees among the palms
 
Deciduous trees among the palms
 


You will then reach a palm tree grove. The trail becomes much less defined beyond this point. Continuing will require some degree of bushwhacking.

Bushwhacking among the palms
 
Bushwhacking among the palms
 
Palm tree grove
 
Palm tree grove
 
Palm tree grove
 
Palm tree grove
 


When I was in the area, no water was present. I went beyond the GPS coordinates of Maidenhair Falls and obviously saw no waterfall. Ended my hike at the base of a cliff/boulders where moss covered some of the boulders and the soil was moist. This might have actually been Maidenhair Falls.

Near Maidenhair Falls
 
Moss near Maidenhair Falls
Moss






When to Hike

Winter, late autumn or early spring. Summer can be dangerously hot.

External Links

Guidebook: The Anza-Borrego Desert Region by Lowell & Diana Lindsay.


http://www.hikespeak.com/trails/hellhole-canyon-trail-maidenhair-falls-anza-borrego-desert/
.

Images

Indianhead PeakNear TrailheadPalm tree groveBushwhacking among the palmsHellhole canyon Trail to Maidenhair FallsDeciduous trees among the palmsBushwhacking among the palms
On Hellhole Canyon TrailPalm tree groveHellhole Canyon TrailNear trailheadMoss near Maidenhair FallsNear Maidenhair FallsBegining of Hellhole Canyon
[ View Gallery - 9 More Images ]



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