Anza-Borrego Desert: Elephant Knees South Loop
||8.4 mile (return) - 3 Hour, 45 minutes (return trip). Easy/Moderate.
||500 - 800 feet
||Fish creek wash. AWD recommended, most of the time high clearance will do, but check first.
A most scenic hike around the elephant knees and beyond.
The preferred route is clockwise.
In the narrow drainage North/West of point "Green", the route follows the Butte reef / sand barrier.
There may be some erosion and tunnelling in this area, so be careful where you hike.
To avoid this, probably the most difficult part of the hike, you can follow the wash down at point "Green", heading North/East.
Hike this area with a GPS, it's easy to get into serous problems or enter the Carrizo Impact Area by accident.
The Carrizo Impact Area has been in use until 1959. it is a closed off area with unexploded ordnance. Sometimes buried deep in the sand.
The hike is within the Park Boundaries and outside the impact area, but don't stray off to the East and stay within San Diego county.
How to get here:
Take Split Mountain Road for about 8 miles.
Follow the road towards the Fish Creek campground.
Where the road starts is mostly in the middle of the wash.
Road condition vary a lot from year to year.
But normally any high clearance AWD should do. The road is sandy with some rocks.
[In some years a regular car can make it all the way towards the wind caves. But unless you check at the visitor centre, don't even try.]
As soon as you see the wind cave sign on the left side of the wash (after 5 miles), keep in the same wash, by keeping a bit to the left.
Don't go into the first right fork, but keep left.
Watch out for deep sand in this part, it's sometimes there.
On the left hand side look for a small wash going to the left. As of recently it's marked foot travel only.
This is the wash to start the hike.
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