Anza-Borrego Desert: Coral wash
||5.3 Mile - 2 hour, 35 minutes (Round trip), Easy/Moderate.
||700 - 1220 feet
||High clearance 4x4 only, see below.
A wider rocky canyon filled with enough sand to make the hike almost easy.
After a while the canyon narrows and a scenic slot like canyon forms.
In the narrow part, a couple of natural tanks and one sloped dry fall, that can be hiked up without too much effort.
The canyon opens up again until it closes in even more, with higher walls.
The canyon is obvious not that stable, parts of the walls came down and at the end the canyon is closed off by a huge boulder.
While driving in and hiking notice the shell reef layer, mostly tilted and in many places broken up into boulders.
How to get there:
From Ocotillo Wells take the split mountain road.
Turn right at the sign Fish Creek Campground.
The road should be close to the middle of the wash.
Follow the wash road, at the Wind Caves (signed) keep right in the wash and turn right into the Fish Creek North Fork (signed).
Disregard, the Oyster and Lycium "roads" to the right.
From the entrance of the North Fork, after just over 2.5 mile (15 minutes) park, at point "Park".
At this point the "road" bends to the left as the Corol wash, the more obvious route, is closed off.
Expect sand and small rocks, close or over the the ground clearance of a SUV.
A most scenic drive, highly recommended, there isn't much that beats this canyon.
The North Fork is at least one notch more difficult to drive than the South fork, a high clearance 4x4 is essential.
This wash road will challenge the clearance of a regular SUV, we drive a Subaru Forester and we come close to it's ground clearance at times.
Road conditions in the North Fork can change in a week.
Be prepared, we carry a couple of sand plates, to raise our ground clearance in case we get stuck and in this fork we had to use them a couple of times.
At days, even in "high" season, traffic may be low and you may be the only one travelling this fork for the day.
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