Anza-Borrego Desert: Malpais Loop
||6 mile (return) - 2 Hour, 30 minutes (return trip). Moderate.
||1050 - 500 feet
||High clearance 4x4 , exit signed Thimble Trail mile 31.9 and drive up to the end. Turn left on the Short wash and turn right on the Vista del Malpais.
Vista del Malpais is a nice badlands overlook.
This hike goes down into the badlands below, follows a couple of washes and loops back.
Follow the ridge East and go down on a ridge until you reach the wash below.
The wash is a fork of the Fault Wash.
We loop back in a rather small wash, end up in a larger wash and hike towards the wall.
At the end of the wash, find a ridge that leads up to the top, hike down again in a wash and follow some washes and the rim towards the car.
The hike is easy except, close to the start, where you hike down from the rim over a mud ridge into the wash below.
The second moderate part is closer to the end, where you have to hike over a mud ridge, out of the wash.
Hiking up the ridges poses a small risk. Some hills may be tunnelled by water and thus be unstable or may cave in.
How to get here:
Drive in and out is a rather scenic ride and should be OK with any 4x4 SUV.
Exit signed Thimble Trail mile 31.9 and drive up to the end. Turn left on the Short wash and turn right on the Vista del Malpais.
On the way back continue on the Short wash and exit left on Palo Verde wash, this a wash road with a bit more soft sand.
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