Fish creek

Fish creek canyon is the divide between Fish Creek Mountains and the Vallecito Mountains. The namesake fish that used to swim in the ponds are long gone, some remain near the visitor center.

How to get here:

From Ocotillo Wells take the split mountain road. The winding road is used by the Gypsum mine trucks, so drive carefully and expect deep potholes.
Watch out for the elephant knees turnout, fish creek is the next wash. Turn right at the sign Fish Creek Campground.

The "road" is different every season, it runs in the wide sandy wash, with the occasional rock.
Pass the campground that is on the left, higher up the bank, gradually the canyon narrows into a steep gorge.

Just past the gorge, you find the wind caves, the most popular destination.

A high clearance 4x4 is highly recommended, deep sand may pose problems, especially close to the Wind Caves, stay on the "road".
Beyond the Wind Caves, the wash forks numerous times a place to get lost.
Don't underestimate the driving distances, it's one hour, one way to the Mud Palisades and some forks are rather challenging to drive.
Whenever rain is expected, the canyon can be a dangerous place, cars have known to be washed miles down stream.

The area includes:
Blackwood Basin, Cairn Wash, Camels Head Wash, Coral Wash, Dave Mc Cain Spring, Dieguenos Wash, Diablo Drop-off, Eagle Benchmark, Elephant Knees, Fish Creek Mountain, Jigsaw Wash, Layer Cake Wash, Loom Lobby Range, Loop Wash, Lycium Wash, Mud Hills, Mud Palisades, No Return canyon, Olla Wash, Oyster Shell Wash, Pirate Wash, Sandstone Canyon, Wind Caves, Gypsum Peak.

The red area represents, as far as we know, the Carrizo Impact Area boundaries. The entry to the Carrizo Impact Area is prohibited and very dangerous.
Around the Carrizo Impact Area there is an exclusion zone, on the west side following the San Diego/Imperial county line.
Be aware of unexploded ordenace even well outside of the actual impact area.
Blackwood Basin loop 4x4 8.7 mile 5 hour Moderate 2016
Blackwood Basin wash 4x4 8.3 mile 4 hour Easy 2016
Cairn Wash - Pirate Wash loop 4x4 7.7 mile 4 hour Moderate 2017
Camels Head loop 4x4 4.1 mile 1 hour 45 minutes Easy 2012
Camel Head Wash East loop 4x4 8 mile 3 hour 35 minutes Easy 2017
Coral wash 4x4 5.3 mile 2 hour 35 minutes Easy/Moderate 2017
Crazycline Gypsum Peak loop 4x4 5.6 mile 4 hour 30 minutes Moderate 2020
Dave Mc Cain spring loop 4x4 5.6 mile 3 hour 40 minutes Moderate 2018
Dieguenos/Deguynos Loop 4x4 10.8 mile 4 hour 20 minutes Easy/Moderate 2015
EC085 Sand Loop 4x4 1.6 mile 40 minutes Moderate 2022
Diablo Drop-off Loop 4x4 9.5 mile 4 hour Easy/Moderate 2015
Eagle Benchmark 8 mile 7 hour Hard 2022
Elephant Knees loop 2 OK 4 mile 1 hour 40 minutes Easy 2013
Elephant Knees South Loop OK 8.4 mile 3 hour 5 minutes Easy/Moderate 2016
Elephant Knees West Loop OK 7.3 mile 3 hour Easy/Moderate 2015
Fish Creek Mountains Carrizo Wash 4x4 5.7 mile 3 hour, 10 minutes Easy/Moderate 2018
Fish Creek South Fork Mile 9.2 4x4 5 mile 2 hour 40 minutes Easy/Moderate 2015
Fish Creek Wash north OK 4x4 7.9 mile 3 hour 15 minutes Easy/Moderate 2011
Fish Creek Wash north fork end 4x4 5.3 mile 3 hour 5 minutes Moderate 2014
Fish Creek mountain north mile 2.4 4x4 2.8 mile 1 hour 35 minutes Moderate 2019
Fish Creek mountain north mile 3.5 4x4 5 mile 3 hour Moderate 2017
Fork north of Olla Wash 4x4 1.2 mile 1 hour Easy/Moderate 2022
Jigsaw Wash loop 4x4 5.4 mile 3 hour 15 minutes Moderate 2017
Layer Cake wash OK 4x4 7.1 mile 2 hour 45 minutes Easy 2011
Layer Cake wash loop 4x4 5.4 mile 2 hour 45 minutes Easy 2015
Loom Lobby Range Loop 4x4 6.3 mile 3 hour Easy 2022
Loop Wash Mile 1.4 West 4x4 4.4 mile 2 hour 10 minutes Easy 2015
Loop Wash first fork loop 4x4 6.1 mile 3 hour 15 minutes Easy/Moderate 2016
Lycium Wash 4x4 8.5 mile 3 hour 45 minutes Easy/Moderate 2012
Lycium to No Return Canyon 4x4 9.2 mile 5 hour Easy/Moderate 2018
Mud Hills Loop 4x4 5/8 mile 3 hour 15 minutes Moderate 2023
Mud Palisades OK 4x4 0.4 - 4.4 mile 15 minutes or more Easy 2011
No Return Canyon 8.2 mile 3 hour 35 minutes Easy/Moderate 2013
No Return Canyon Slot 8.8 mile 4 hour Easy/Moderate 2015
North Olla Wash 4x4 5.5 mile 3 hour Easy 2019
Oyster Shell Wash loop 4x4 3.1 mile 2 hour 15 minutes Easy/Moderate 2013
North Palisades Wash 4x4 6.7 mile 3 hour Easy 2018
Oyster Shell Wash Loop 4x4 3.3 mile 2 hour 45 minutes Moderate 2015
Oyster Shell Wash Loop 2 4x4 7.2 mile 4 hour 15 minutes Moderate/Hard 2015
Oyster Shell Wash - Fish Creek overlook 4x4 4.2 mile 3 hour Moderate 2014
Oyster Shell Wash - Lycium Wash Loop 4x4 4.9 mile 2 hour Easy/Moderate 2010
Sandstone Canyon 4x4 9.7 mile 3 hour Easy 2011
Slot Loop north of Olla Wash 4x4 1.2 mile 1 hour Easy/Moderate 2022
Stone Wash 4x4 4.4 mile 3 hour Easy/Moderate 2016
Wind Caves OK 1.5 mile 1 hour Easy 2009
Wind Caves - Gypsum Peak 6.5 mile 4 hour 15 minutes Moderate 2015
Wind Cave wash - Gypsum Peak - loop 7 mile 4 hour Moderate 2016

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), Jacumba, Laguna Mountain, Warner Springs) California, Hike with gps, gpx and kml (Google Earth).

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