Upper Hellhole Canyon Trail

Borrego Springs, California

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The fastest entry into the upper reaches of Hellhole Canyon is not by simply going up from the mouth of the canyon past Maidenhair Falls. Nor is it by descending the South Fork below Pena Spring, though this is an interesting and challenging hike in its own right. Rather, it is by dropping down the ridge to the north of Pena Spring. This is a steep and at times slippery descent, but one accomplished in a fraction of the time required on the other routes. In this description, I will detail the way to a 30-foot waterfall in a northern tributary of Hellhole Canyon.
Afoot & Afield: San Diego County

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Afoot & Afield: San Diego County

by Jerry Schad (Wilderness Press)

The fastest entry into the upper reaches of Hellhole Canyon is not by simply going up from the mouth of the canyon past Maidenhair Falls. Nor is it by descending the South Fork below Pena Spring, though this is an interesting and challenging hike in its own right. Rather, it is by dropping down the ridge to the north of Pena Spring. This is a steep and at times slippery descent, but one accomplished in a fraction of the time required on the other routes. In this description, I will detail the way to a 30-foot waterfall in a northern tributary of Hellhole Canyon.

©  Jerry Schad/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Borrego Springs
Distance: 3
Elevation Gain: 1,600 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 4 hours
Season: December through April
Local Contacts: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Local Maps: USGS Tubb Canyon
Driving Directions: Directions to Upper Hellhole Canyon Trail

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May 2018