Anza-Borrego Desert: Palm Wash to Sheep Tanks

Rating *****
length 10.9 mile - 3 hour 30 minutes (Return trip). Easy.
Elevation 400 - 1000 feet
Access At Hwy S-22 Borrego Springs <-> Salton Sea Mile 38. Accessible by all cars.

An easy most scenic canyon hike to a couple of sheep tanks.

Park at the Calcite road (all cars), or drive the road as far as you can.
You need an high clearance AWD to drive the calcite road.
Hike or drive down the road into the Palm Wash.
Go straight uphill again on the road marked "Calcite Mine" and notice the rough road sign, you don't see many of them in the park.

At the crossroad at about 1000 yards, turn right at the sign "Palm Wash".
When you want to drive this road, be aware that this is rather steep downhill.
You need plenty of clearance and AWD.

Hike downhill, once down cross over straight into the other canyon.
This is where we found the highest concentration of desert Lilies in the park.
(But maybe February 2011 was a good time for the Lilies to bloom.)

Follow the canyon to your right downhill and at the first major fork turn left.
Uphill into the North Fork of the Palm Wash.
The canyon narrows and that's about as far as anyone can make it by car.
Look for the hiking signs, pointing the way to the Tanks.

The left fork stops after a short while at the second tank.
In mid February 2011 on a sunny day, right after almost an inch of rain, the tanks where completely filled.

Be aware that the tanks are quite deep when filled and look for fish.
You may want to explore the right fork, so hike back an take the fork to your left.
This canyon can be hiked for a long time, but after a couple of 100 yards, the canyon is less spectacular.
Thereafter there are more small boulders in the canyon

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 SP, Cuyamaca Rancho SP, Imperial Sand Dunes (Algodones Dunes), Laguna Mountain, Warner Springs) California, Hike with gps, gpx and kml (Google Earth).

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