Anza-Borrego Desert: Joshua canyon loop
A scenic hike with slot-like mud/sandstone canyons and a lone palm tree.
|5.2 mile - 2 hour 40 minutes (Loop), Easy/Moderate (small boulders).
|420 - 1160 feet
|High clearance 4x4 only, see below.
At the intersection hike south/west along the wash road.
Reaching point "Up", hike up the ridge to the mesa above.
Soon a real good Indian/wildlife/hiking trail. Follow the trail until you are opposite the Calcite mine, turn east and south/east.
Entering the upper part of the Joshua canyon, with some small rocks, the rocks get more frequent and larger further into the canyon. This is by far the most strenuous part of the hike.
Watch out for sudden drops and head back when reaching one of the dry falls. There was a water pool below that blocked our way, you might be able to hike a little bit further when dry.
Head back and scramble up the north wall of the canyon when possible to do so easily.
Hike parallel to the canyon below in rather rocky terrain.
Head down south in a small drainage, be careful, it's pretty steep along the canyon wall.
Turn left (south/east) following a small drainage. Reaching the wash below, a short trip up to a lonely palm tree, turn right and keep right along a cat claw, up to a .
Now head down the wash towards the car.
Other names for the canyon: Howley Gulch/Wash.
How to get here:
Only try this with a high clearance 4x4.
Take the Calcite dirt road, close to mile 38, this is probably the most difficult part of the drive.
If you are unfamiliar with the road, walk the short stretch before you drive down.
Once in the wash, turn right (east) and drive down the South Palm Wash.
Now leaving the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and entering the Truckhaven off road area, continue on the road.
After just over 2 miles, at the first intersection turn left (north) "Xing", now re-entering the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
Drive up to the next 3 way crossing and park at point "Park".
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