Anza-Borrego Desert: Rattlesnake Spring loop

Rating *****
length 11.4 mile (round trip) - 6 hour, 40 minutes (round trip). Moderate.
Elevation 1000 - 3520 feet
Access Park at the parking along the S22 at mile 32. (All cars).

From the parking head North/East, cross country towards the entrance of Palo Verde Canyon. Do not follow the Villager peak trail.
Once in Palo Verde Canyon, follow the wash up to a point where it's easy to hike up the ridge to the left (west).
Follow the ridge trail all the way up, a very clear trail at first, but getting fainter closer to the top.

Heading downhill on a faint Indian trail, picking up the new trail heading North/West.
An often very clear and good trail, sometimes easy to miss, that leads up to Rattlesnake spring.
A bit of a scramble getting to the actual spring, that's a small water hole.

Now head North/West on a faint trail out of the drainage, don't follow the drainage down.
At the end follow a narrow drainage down (north), towards Rattlesnake Canyon below.
Follow the wash down heading south, sliding down a couple of big boulders.
Watch out for the dry fall, that's dangerous to go down on without a rope.
Here take the much safer route, by scrambling up the first drainage north.
This is a tricky part, it's pretty steep on one side, high above the dry fall.
Hike down on a ridge on the west side.

Head back into Rattlesnake Canyon and hike all way down, until meeting the mostly marked Villager Peak trail head, coming down from the ridge to the right.
Follow the trail back towards the car.

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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