Anza-Borrego Desert: Lower Willows

Rating *****
length 4.1 mile - 2 hour (round trip) add 1 hour if you hike from second crossing. Easy.
Elevation 1130 - 1420 feet
Access Take the dirt road into Coyote canyon. You may make it to 1e crossing in a regular car, after that a high clearance or AWD is needed. (check road conditions at the visitors center).

This is one of the places in the park with year round water.
The creek is fed by the Santa Catarina Spring, the spring is inaccessible, but can be viewed from above. (Bypass road, exit monument).

Continue hiking up the road, the rocky by-pass goes left of the small hill.
The road was actually very good in 2014 after some improvements.

The first signed exit is the monument for a good overview of the spring below.
Hike around the jungle below.

The return trail runs on the far end of the canyon (North), starting as a sandy wash.
There are signs, but they tend to be old, washed away, or in the wrong place.
Every couple of years, after a flash flood (August 2013 was one of them) things tend to change in the lower willows.

Willows are mostly blooming in March/April, but some can bloom whenever they like.
The last part of the road, at the gate, is closed in summer.
The gate is very close (5 min) from 3th crossing. Expect sand, mud and a small water crossing.

Tip: Hike further along the creek, up to second crossing

The rattlesnake on film. Older footage.
A more extensive flora list.
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 State Park) California, Hike with gps, gpx and kml (Google Earth).

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