Coachwhip Canyon Trail

Borrego Springs, California

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Stark, dry, and almost barren, Coachwhip Canyon is somehow—despite these attributes—a very peaceful and appealing place. A beautiful “forest” of smoke trees, framed by sandstone formations, stands at the entrance. The wind, which can blow like the devil just outside, seldom seems to intrude within the confines of the canyon. Hidden nooks in the side canyons, each unique, invite you to pause, rest, and enjoy. The wraithlike, gray-green smoke tree, a handsome shrub in any season, puts on quite a show in June, when it is festooned with thousands of indigo-colored blossoms. The smoke tree forest literally hums then with the wing-beats of bees gathering nectar. It is, of course, terrifically hot at that time of year, so you would be advised to hike at dawn or dusk.

Coachwhip Canyon Trail Professional Review and Guide

"Stark, dry, and almost barren, Coachwhip Canyon is somehow—despite these attributes—a very peaceful and appealing place. A beautiful “forest” of smoke trees, framed by sandstone formations, stands at the entrance. The wind, which can blow like the devil just outside, seldom seems to intrude within the confines of the canyon. Hidden nooks in the side canyons, each unique, invite you to pause, rest, and enjoy. The wraithlike, gray-green smoke tree, a handsome shrub in any season, puts on quite a show in June, when it is festooned with thousands of indigo-colored blossoms. The smoke tree forest literally hums then with the wing-beats of bees gathering nectar. It is, of course, terrifically hot at that time of year, so you would be advised to hike at dawn or dusk."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Borrego Springs
Distance: 4
Elevation Gain: 500 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Season: October through June
Accessibility: Kid-friendly
Local Contacts: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Local Maps: USGS Fonts Point
Driving Directions: Directions to Coachwhip Canyon Trail

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May 2018