Hellhole Canyon Trail to Maidenhair Falls

The Hike:  Hellhole Canyon Trail to Maidenhair Falls
Vague Location:  Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Better Location:  There is a parking lot next to the trailhead on HWY S-22 near mile marker 16.5 in Borrego Springs, California.
Distance:  6 Miles Total – Out & Back
Elevation Gain/Loss:  900′

Desert Wildflowers
This is a great hike, especially when the wildflowers are in bloom.  I have seen the trail lined with vibrant yellows, reds, pinks, oranges, purples and greens.

Beavertail Cactus
The hike starts on the desert floor passing beautiful blooming ocotillos, pink beavertail cactus, pink barrel cactus and more.  The flowers are typically in bloom around March, depending on the winter rainfall.

I have seen a variety of lizards, jackrabbits, colorful birds with lovely singing voices, and even a “baby” rattlesnake on this trail. (The photo is a tad blurry, but I wasn’t getting too close.)  I am still waiting to encounter bighorn sheep at Anza-Borrego.  Hopefully, I will never run into a mountain lion; although they have been reported on this trail.

The trail eventually leads to an oasis filled with palm trees and large boulders.  Further up the trail you will find a waterfall (or two), which is a great place to cool off from the high desert temperatures.  Maidenhair Falls were not the easiest to find.  There appeared to be very little, or even no trail, leading past the palm oasis.  There was boulder scrambling and small stream crossings involved in order to reach the falls.

Maidenhair Falls
The twenty-foot falls are tucked away and the surrounding rock is lined with maidenhair ferns and moss.  The water was cold and refreshing as it fell into a shallow pool.  (The wet rocks are slippery!)  The palms and waterfall are inviting and the experience feels like you are a world away from hiking in a (very hot) desert.

The photos shown are from hikes taken on March 26, 2010 and April 28, 2012.

This entry was posted in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Desert, Hike, San Diego, San Diego County, Wildflowers and Plants and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Hellhole Canyon Trail to Maidenhair Falls

  1. Pingback: Blooming Ocotillo at Anza-Borrego | Enjoy Bliss

  2. Pingback: Lizard at Anza-Borrego | Enjoy Bliss

  3. I like the shot of the lizard and snake. Reptiles are fascinating!

  4. Pingback: Bunny! | Enjoy Bliss

  5. Pingback: Desert Palm | Enjoy Bliss

  6. beeseeker says:

    We have minus temperatures and falling snow here at the moment – so really enjoyed the warmth implicit in the photos and the gentle information given. Thanks.

  7. bruceczopek says:

    So great to see color in the desert. Spring is magical there. Thanks!

  8. Pingback: 49 Palms Oasis at Joshua Tree | Enjoy Bliss

  9. jbcamera says:

    Love the name of the trail! Thanks for visiting my blog.

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