Anza-Borrego Desert: Pinyon Spring Wash - Wilson Trail loop

Rating *****
Length 6.5 mile (return) - 3 Hour, 40 minutes (return trip). Moderate.
Elevation 2550 - 4150 feet
Access On Highway 78 mile 74.1, exit Grapevine Canyon. Some ground clearance. See below.

A scenic hike up to the Wilson Trail.
As the road dips into the wash, hike the wash uphill (North).
The wash is wide and at the first fork, take the right fork (East).

From a distance the wash doesn't look good, but it provides about 45 minutes of easy sandy washes.

Close to an hour from the start you get to point "boulders".
A bit further the wash forks, left a boulder rich canyon and to the North East a rather steep canyon.

The canyon to the left should provide a short cut.

But take the steep canyon, just beyond a dry fall, move over to the right side of the wash and keep climbing the wall.
It's still steep, but there is sand and small boulders, so it's pretty safe.

After the short steep hike up, another wash. This is where the steep hike ends and a wider sandy wash with some boulders starts.

It's an easy hike up to the Wilson Trail. The trail isn't that clear from close up, look further away to see where it goes.

Hike the Wilson Trail for about 15 minutes West.
The trail dips into a saddle, turn left (South).

And follow the wash down. A bit further the wash starts to get sandy.
Make sure to cross over to the wash a bit to the west.

The wash starts out easy but gets steeper.
One of those washes you wonder what will happen next.

It this case not too much, it's steep, but there is a lot of sand and some small boulders.
Sliding down the sand is as close as you get to skiing in Borrego.

The next fork is the one coming out of the spring.

From now on it's an easy stroll to the car.

How to get here:

On Highway 78 mile 74.1, exit Grapevine Canyon.
This is a mostly sandy road, a car with some clearance is needed.
Drive for about 4.0 mile from the Hwy up to point "Park 1". As the road bends to the right, marked with a no vehicles sign.

At point "Park 1" the road is 4x4 only and you need more ground clearance.
It doesn't make much sense to drive any further.
From "Park 2" it's less than 5 minutes to the wash.

Warning: Don't be deceived by the easy part of the road.
We put the car in reverse and parked at "Park 2". As I said no point of taking a risk for this short a hike.

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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