|GPS||N32 49.799 W116 10.211|
|Elevation||526 ft. to 1,210 ft.|
|Season||Year round: best Oct.-May|
|Terrain||Packed dirt, deep sand in places, washboard: flash floods are a possibility|
|Difficulty||Easy terrain/soft sand can be a challenge|
|Required Vehicle||4 wheel drive. With stock tires it’s better to air down a bit in the soft sand.|
|Time||2.5 hours each way|
|Length||Approximately 23 miles exiting at Fish Creek Wash|
Directions: The trail starts from Highway S2 between Sweeney Pass and the Carrizo Badlands Overlook and is about 13 miles NW of Ocotillo CA.
Site Location and Description: This is a beautiful and picturesque trail in Anza Borrego State Park that winds through an ancient sandstone and granite canyon that has amazing rock “folds” and curves. This sandstone contains elements and fossils that are over 100 million years old from when the ancient Colorado River flowed through this area. There is a slot canyon suitable for hiking at about 2 miles into the canyon. After that, you will enter into some wide, sandy washes, once part of the historic Butterfield Stage Route. The rest of the journey takes you through Arroyo Seco Del Diablo and up to the lookout above Diablo Dropoff, then winds down the potentially difficult “Broken Shaft” Gulch and into Fish Creek Wash.
We travelled here in June, so we did not get out of our vehicles for any great length of time. It was 109 degrees out; brutally hot. The park ranger at the trailhead warned us that we would be running into a search and rescue crew, as a hiker had to be taken out of the slot canyon and was in bad shape due to exposure. TAP NOTE: If you venture out here in the summer/early fall months, be sure you are carrying a well-stocked first aid kit, gallons of water, sunscreen, hats, and extra food (at minimum). Traveling with a minimum of two vehicles is recommended and be sure that your air conditioner is up to par as you will HAVE TO HAVE IT. We also carry a DeLorme inReach satellite communicator that has 100% global coverage for sending and tracking e-mails, so that you can update your friends/loved ones while out exploring. It also enables you to send an SOS in case of emergency and receive a delivery confirmation, as well as giving you the ability to be in contact with the search and rescue monitoring center until help arrives. Always be prepared.