Box Canyon Overlook Trail

Borrego Springs, California 92004

Box Canyon Overlook Trail

Box Canyon Overlook Trail Professional Review and Guide

"Much Anza-Borrego history coincides at this spot! The Southern Emigrant Trail, the Mormon Battalion, and the Butterfield Overland Mail Route used this arduous low mountain pass. The historical marker is right by the highway; the overlook of the trail below is 250 feet farther east. By following the path down to the trail itself, you quickly get a feeling for the obstacle that this rocky ridge represented for early travelers. The Mormon Battalion cut a detour around the box canyon; traces of its efforts are visible on the canyon walls. To follow a piece of the trail itself, follow the sloping trail down to the right to a wooden post marked “U.S. Mormon Battalion Trail.” At this point, the trail coincides with the wash. The historic wash trail is marked with an occasional wooden post. Your hike parallels the highway but is wholly hidden in the small canyon to provide a feeling of seclusion and communion with the hundreds of previous users of this trail segment."

More Box Canyon Overlook Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Much of Anza-Borrego’s history coincides at this spot! The Southern Emigrant Trail and the Butterfield Overland Mail Route once traversed this arduous low mountain pass. The historical marker is right by the highway; the overlook of the trails is 250 feet farther east. From the overlook you can spot two routes etched into the earth. The track left by the Mormon Battalion, created in 1847, is the higher one; the Butterfield Stage found an easier path in 1858. Of greater historical significance is that General Kearny and the “Army of the West,” led by Kit Carson, passed through Box Canyon a few days before the battle at San Pasqual. This conflict was the deadliest battle of the Mexican War in California. General Kearny and his surviving soldiers went on to fight in the battles at San Gabriel River and La Mesa, thereby securing possession of California for the United States. The trail was later called the Southern Emigrant Trail because of the many prospectors and settlers who traveled the route on their way west after 1847. By following the path down to the trail itself at 0.2 mile, you quickly get a feeling for the obstacle this rocky ridge represented for travelers. The various historic travelers cut a detour around the box canyon, but their efforts have eroded with time. To follow a piece of the trail itself, take the sloping trail down to the right to a wooden post. At this point, the trail coincides with the wash. Occasional wooden posts mark the historic wash trail."

Box Canyon Overlook Trail Reviews

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10/10/2002
Only for the cooler winter months! This is a great part of the San Diego Sea to Sea Trail - continue north-east and you''ll end up in Borrego Springs and then the Salton Sea. Once you''re out of Box Canyon, it''s quite barren up north through Shelter Valley.
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Trail Information

Borrego Springs
Nearby City
0.4
Distance
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Easy
Skill Level
2 hours
Duration
October through April.
Season
2,360 feet
Trailhead Elevation
2,360 feet
Top Elevation
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Local Contacts
USGS Earthquake Valley
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018