Torote Canyon Trail

Anza-Borrego Desert State Wilderness, California

Elevation Gain631ft
Trailhead Elevation1,115ft
Elevation Min/Max1110/1552ft
Elevation Start/End1115/1115ft

Torote Canyon Trail

Torote Canyon Trail is a hiking trail in San Diego County, California. It is within Anza-Borrego Desert State Wilderness. It is 1.4 miles long and begins at 1,115 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 2.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 631 feet. This trail connects with the following: Indian Gorge Road.

Torote Canyon Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Dozens of elephant trees cling to the walls of this interesting canyon. In Mexico, this tree is called torote, which means “twisted,” in reference to the haphazard way in which the limbs twine upward. A series of secluded valleys, each seemingly cut off from the rest of the world, lie up-canyon a mile or two. A broad expanse of sand, a few sparse shrubs, cobbled walls in the distance, and the vault of sky overhead—an hour spent quietly contemplating such purity and simplicity can bring on a feeling of profound peace."

"Hike up the sandy wash use trail of Torote Canyon which, for the most part, makes a good and easy-to-follow trail. At times you will need to scramble up and over an occasional boulder-clogged segment of the wash, but in general the going is easy enough to allow enjoyment of the remote surroundings of the canyon. You’ll come to the first elephant tree on the left slope (south side) in less than 0.4 mile, but keep going for a good look at one of the densest “herds” of elephant trees in this bizarre tree’s northernmost range."

"Hike up the sandy wash of Torote Canyon, which for the most part makes a good and easy-to-follow trail. You will need to scramble up and over an occasional boulder-clogged segment of the trail, but in general the going is easy enough to enjoy the canyon’s remote surroundings. The Spanish word torote means “twisted,” referring to the gnarled growth pattern of the elephant trees, which are widespread in Mexico."

"A few steps into the canyon on this relatively short hike bring peace, quiet, and a sense of distance from the world. In the wide, sandy wash of Torote Canyon, walk along with an ease that requires little attention to your steps—making this an excellent day hike for solitude lost in thought, or for sharing uninterrupted conversation with a companion. A narrower offshoot gorge requires more careful footing, delivering you to a wide, rocky bowl—either a turnaround point or the climbing gateway into surrounding desert. Outstanding Features: Sandy wash, columnar barrel cactus, smoke trees, jackrabbits, quail, and quiet."

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Trail Information

Anza-Borrego Desert State Wilderness
Nearby City
Anza-Borrego Desert State Wilderness
Skill Level
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Local Contacts
USGS Aqua Caliente Spring, Arroyo Tapiado, Sombrero Peak, and Sweeney Pass
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Nov 2018