In any desert, an oasis is prime real estate. And so it is at Borrego Palm Canyon, one of the very few fee areas in California’s Anza Borrego Desert State Park. This is a terrific first hike in Anza Borrego. It’s easy to find, has a mellow grade, and you can knock it out in a two or three hours.
It’s also a really cool experience visiting and actual desert oasis, complete with palm trees, lots of birds and a cool stream. If you get really lucky, you might even see a mountain goat.
Trail Type: Out-and-Back
Trail Length: 3 miles
Trail Condition: Marginally Maintained
Dogs Allowed? No
Trail Activities: Hiking
The canyon, located just west of the town of Borrego Springs, at the end of Palm Canyon Drive, shelters a surprisingly lush grove of palm trees fed by a mountain stream.
From the trailhead next to the state park parking lot, it’s a mellow, 1.5 mile hike up the canyon to the oasis.
Don’t forget to pay the entrance fee to the park — the rangers can slap you with several hundred dollars in fines, if they are bored.
Hike Difficulty: Moderate
Hike Duration: 2 hours
Heat, Mountain Lions, Snakes
The trailhead is located just west of the town of Borrego Springs, in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The trail starts in Borrego Palm Canyon Campground. To get there from Borrego Springs, take Palm Canyon Drive west until it terminates at the campground. The trailhead is located near the public restrooms and the big parking lot.