Anza-Borrego Desert: Carrizo Canyon East Fork Palms

Rating *****
length 8.2 mile (the loop) - 4 hour, 40 minutes (Return trip). Moderate, Moderate/Easy when you don't go up to the rail road.
Elevation 950 - 2080 feet
Access The road leading here. AWD needed for the last part.

A hike to a couple of palm oasis in the Carrizo Canyon East Fork, this is one of the larger oasis in the park.

Hike up the canyon wash.
The wash is sandy, that makes the hike a bit harder, even on the way down again.
In the wash there are some small boulders, easy to step on and over and a lot of small (dry) falls, easy to climb up.

Once before a wide granite fall, you should be able to spot some palms.
These are the 3 palms in the left fork.

Over the fall (easy), just at the dead palm tree.

Option 1:

Hike out of the wash to the left, (south/east) until you reach the last 2 palms.
Hike up to the left up a ridge all the way up, until you reach the rail road tracks.
WARNING: The rail road is in use (2012).

Turn right (south/west) along the tracks.
At a wooden tunnel, hike along it, to the right (easy). Don't go in the tunnel.
Hike all the way up to an all stone tunnel. Along the way you see the bigger palm oasis to the right below.
Just before the tunnel, hike downhill on a lot of boulders. Be careful to avoid the slick rock fall's, they are really deep. Keep more right.
This part isn't easy, some boulder climbing is involved.
Look at the mine (it looks like one), but don't enter it.

The way down is more or less cross country, until you are in the wash below.
Even there the hiking isn't easy, some falls, that are a bit higher, but still not too difficult to come down on.

Hike along the palms. Watch out for the leaves on the ground, they are really slippery and there may be something underneath, like a deep hole, so test carefully.

Once down into the main canyon wash, go back to the right (north/east).
Or go left (south), there are even more palms out there.

Option 2)

At the dead palm, keep on going, until you spot the palms, go into the more rocky canyon on your left.
Don't forget the canyons around the bend to the right.

Once back into the main wash, turn left, in other words continue in the same wash as you came in.
There are more palms over there.

Option 3)
Follow point "Main Fork", basically keeping right in the wash.
You will find 4 more palm clusters in this canyon "Palm 4-6" and another one beyond "Palm 6".

How to get here:
Take the signed exit Carrizo wash close to mile 48.5. Drive the wash road for about 4.3 mile and take the short dirt road to the left after the road dips into the wash.
Expect soft sand in some years, mixed with some rocks, normally any high clearance 4x4 should be able to make it to the trail head.

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), Jacumba, Laguna Mountain, Warner Springs) California, Hike with gps, gpx and kml (Google Earth).

© 2013-2023