With rain expected for much of southern California, we thought we would be safe by heading to a drier climate. There was still a 30% chance of rain, but those were good enough odds for my buddy Casey and myself. So we made the three hour drive from LA down to Anza Borrego. After stopping to get lunch and getting lost a few times, we made it to the park around 2pm. Not much time before the sun would set, so we had to get the lead out.

As we first got on the trail, we encountered quite a few people that were returning from the palm grove. This particular trek is a popular one, at least for the first 2.5 miles. We encountered one couple that just spotted some big horn sheep. Unfortunately, we did not see any so we were a little dissapointed. For the rest of the trip, we would constantly scan the hills for any sign of life but never spotted anything.

The initial hike to the palm grove is farily gradual and not too complicated. It does include several stream crossings, but they are all fairly easy. With it being winter, there was still plenty of water. By summertime, all of it will have dried up. After the palm grove, we didn't see anyone else on the trail. We continued to hike until it started getting dark. At that point, we backtracked a tad to the last camp spot we saw. We set up the tent, ate some grub and then got comfortable. It was still early (7 pm or so) but with no fire, we were bored and quickly crashed out.

In the middle of the night, we started hearing drops of rain against the tent. By the time the sun rose, there was no rain but the clouds were literally sitting on top of us. We decided to hike further into the canyon and do some exploring. We ventured about another 2 miles up the canyon, with really just more of the same (which certainly wasn't a bad thing). We finally called it quits and headed back towards the camp, packed things up and headed out of the canyon. On the way back, it started drizziling on us. We wanted to go check out some of the slot canyons but with the rain, we decided we had enough and headed back to LA.

I enjoyed what little of the park I had the opportunity to see and I would love to go back soon. It would be even cooler if we had a Jeep to go back in so we could play around on some of the more inaccessible parts of the park.

Type: Out-and-back
Trailhead: Google
Trail Map: link
Vertical Profile: link

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