Anza-Borrego Desert: Rockhouse Canyon

Rating *****
length 13.4 mile (return) - 5 hour, 30 minutes (return). Easy/Moderate (longer day hike).
Elevation 1600 - 3100 feet
Access High clearance 4x4, see below.

A hike up to 3 rock houses used by miners.

Hike up the rockhouse canyon.
At the bend you can see a hiking trail, running along the canyon wall.
The not so hidden, signed "hidden spring" can be found on the left side (north) of the canyon.

Hike further into the canyon, that narrows and the canyon walls go straight up.
The only obstacle is a granite fall, at the county line.

There used to be a road up here, so as you hike back from the fall, look to the right.
The road is easy to spot and starts close to the bend.
Hiking on the remains of the road to the top of the fall, takes about 2 minutes.

Keep on hiking up the canyon and keep left on every major fork.
Hiking is very easy, as the the wash is sandy and as smooth and firm as it gets.

As the canyon opens into a valley, keep in the left sandy wash.
The wash is in the left side (west) of the canyon.

1) As the wash nears a boulder ridge, hike just past the ride.
2) On the right you see 3 boulder groups, sticking out of the canyon floor. Just past the last one turn right (North).

At point "Trail" look for rock cairns, the rock houses are north, that's to the right out of the wash.

You find the remains of 3 rock houses, with a little bit of restoration.

Hike back towards the wash and hike further north/west in the sandy wash.
Take the first fork to the right, the fork isn't that clear at this point, but turns into a small sandy wash.
The next fork keep right, (straight on) and you should see the cottonwood spring.
At least that's what we expect it is. It's the only green spot where the spring should be.

Hiking time:

Warning be prepared for a long long hike.
Park1->Park: 30 minutes.
Park->End: 27 Minutes.
End->Spring: 11 Minutes.
Spring->Fall: 22 Minutes.
Fall->Rock houses: 1 Hour, 43 Minutes.
Rock houses->Spring: 23 Minutes.

How to get here:

Drive up the Rockhouse road.
Road conditions change, as of 2014 we where unable to drive any further than "Park 1", this will add one hour return to the trip.

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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