Anza-Borrego Desert: Layer cake wash
|7.1 mile - 2 hour 45 minutes (Return trip). Easy.
|1150 - 1450 feet
|High clearance, 4x4 advised, see below.
An impressive sand canyon wash.
This hike in a loop.
The wash is unmarked, but is recognizable by the almost red exit that is very narrow and impressive, see the last picture.
This is not how the whole wash looks like, the rest is easy.
About 200 Yards further up the Fish Creek Canyon "road" you find a wider, much accessible entrance of the wash.
Keep the entrance/exit for last, because it's easier coming down.
Hike north and follow the main wash up.
The wash is mostly sandy, part sandstone.
Depending how many hikers where there before you, after rain, the wash is firm or soft.
In our case the wash was firm and easy to hike in.
Keep following the widest wash.
A small narrow rapid/fall "fall" is easy to pass.
The canyon and all forks end a bit further on.
This area is part of the Blackwood Basin, a petrified forest, that extends from Sandstone canyon up to the Loop wash junction (west end).
How to get here:
Take Split Mountain Road for about 8 miles.
Follow the road towards the Fish Creek campground.
Where the road starts is mostly in the middle of the wash. But in other years at the right hand side of the wash as in 2013.
Road condition vary a lot from year to year.
The road is sandy with some rocks.
As soon as you see the wind cave sign on the left side of the wash (after 5 miles), keep in the same wash, by keeping a bit to the left.
Don't go into the first North fork, but keep left.
The wash you are entering should be signed as South Fork.
From the entrance of the South Fork, drive for about 5.2 Mile to the Diablo exit (may be unsigned).
Whatever you do don't enter the Diablo exit, but keep right (North).
The Layer canyon wash entrance has a very distinct red dry fall, look for it.
The entrance is before the Sandstone Canyon.
Driving time, about one hour from the asphalt. (one way)
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