The Hellhole Canyon Trail in Borrego Springs

October 23, 2015

When picking a trail to explore, there are many different factors that come into play. Trail length and difficulty are two main factors but sometimes the name of a trail is enough to peak our interest or have us running for the hills.

Don’t let the Hellhole Canyon Trail fool you with its menacing name! The Hellhole Canyon Trail in Borrego Springs is an enchanting journey that will lead you to Maidenhair Falls, a seasonal twenty foot waterfall that can offer some refuge from the unforgiving desert sun.

The 5.5 mile round trip hike begins at the same trailhead as the California Riding and Hiking Trail, with Hellhole Canyon being the canyon on the far left. As you follow the trail up into the mountains, you will be greeted by many of the standard Anza-Borrego Desert plants such as creosote bushes and ocotillo.

About a mile and a half in, you will arrive at the canyon. If you see at least a small amount of water trickling along the sand, then the waterfall should be fully flowing! As the canyon walls begin to close, the trail becomes less defined and a level of finesse will come into play as you navigate around rocks and vegetation scattered throughout.

The trek is worth it though as you pass a group of palm trees and eventually arrive at a large oasis where many hikers decide to relax and cool off in the much needed shade. Some decide to turn around here but don’t stop just yet. You’re almost to the main attraction!

The trees become quite dense in this area but as long as you travel along the worn trails that follow the creek, then you will soon find yourself at a smaller ten foot waterfall. Ascend the rocky slope and follow the sound of cascading water until you arrive at Maidenhair Falls in the center of the canyon. Now it’s time to step inside the shallow pool of water to stand beneath the refreshing falls. You will feel re-invigorated and ready to follow the trail back!

After a strenuous hike, you will need a place to unwind and our Palm Canyon Hotel & RV Resort has a hotel room, vintage trailer rental, or pull-thru RV space with your name on it!

For more information, visit

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