Anza-Borrego Desert: Arroyo Salado Loop
||7.3 mile (return) - 2 Hour, 53 minutes (return trip). Easy/Moderate.
||700 - 350 feet
||All cars, park roadside close to mile 36.6. That's the first of a series of deeper wash crossings, driving from Borrego Springs.
A nice loop in the Badlands.
Start hiking along the road towards the Salton Sea, go down into the next wash and start hiking South.
This is the North fork, keep hiking down stream and you will eventually end up in the main fork and on the Truckhaven trail.
Follow the wash up to point "Up", go up the small rock wash until you are out of the wash and on the plateau.
The terrain is filled with small rocks, but the layer underneath is sand and the water created some natural hiking trails.
The wash is hard to spot at this point, but gradually more sand and a wider wash.
The terrain gets more level as we approach the edge of the park.
You may notice illegal motorcycle tracks, strayed into park boundaries.
We take a small wash North West at point "Fork 2".
It will be a challenge to follow the wash without a GPS.
Nice colored mud hills, notice how the water tends to tunnel rather than following the wash. That's why climbing the mud hills is not always safe.
On the way back follow a small wash into the Arroyo Salado wash.
Following the very wide wash for a while and take an easy to miss small wash at point "Fork 4".
This brings you to to edge of the North Fork Arroyo Salado.
Take the Truckhaven Trail down into the wash and proceed back towards the car.
The wash ends at the road with a huge tube underneath the road.
Look left for a rocky wash leading uphill.
In the right season (mostly January / March) Asters may bloom. On this loop we recorded a staggering 804 Xylorhiza orcuttii, more than half in bloom.
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