Anza Borrego: Third crossing - Middle willows

Rating *****
Length 6.4 mile (return) - 1 Hour, 30 minutes (one way). Easy (some soft sand and rocks).
Elevation 1200 - 1800 feet
Access High clearance 4x4.

A nice bike ride up to Middle willows.

Hike up the bypass road and bike down the nice firm road on the other side.
Left at the turnout to the historic marker.
Monkey hill, a small rocky outcropping in the middle of the canyon is a nice aiming point, it's just over halfway up to Middle willows.

Right at the unmarked road (other road is marked Sheep Camp).
The road goes slightly up and has it's sandy stretches, they may force to hike a bit.
At the crossing Salvador Canyon turn right, a nice ride downhill.
More uphill and small rocks and small boulders.

Hike middle willows.
Back along the road and cross country to the firm wash (like concrete), the wash has some rocky parts.
Cross country again, back to the road.

Bike time:
The ride is easy, in following the road, but.... it's going uphill and that makes the soft sand more difficult and you may be forced to hike at times.
In: 6.5 mile, 1 hour, 30 minutes uphill.
Back: 5.8 mile, 1 hour, 5 minute downhill.

Warning:
Bring in lots and lots of water, I used 2 litres at 70 degrees, so that's a very cool day.
Hike while going cross country, bike in the firm wash.
Don't run over vegetation and watch out for seedlings.
Behave, hikers don't like these deep tire tracks in soft sand and you may cause damage.

How to get there.
Drive into Coyote Canyon. Most cars: Up to First crossing.
High clearance only: Up to Second crossing.
4x4 preferred: Up to Third crossing. (But I've seen regular cars at this point in 2014.)

There are several parking options:
At the gate, not too far from third crossing, limited to about 3 cars.
Close to third crossing, just before the water. Plenty of parking.
And just beyond third crossing, past the small stream. Plenty of parking, but don't drive too far up.

Disclaimer: Read this first before you start your hike. Contact: info/at/borregohiking/./com (leave out the /)
Hiking the Borrego Springs Area (Anza-Borrego Desert State Park) California, Hike with gps, gpx and kml (Google Earth).

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