Torote Canyon Trail

Julian, California

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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.

Torote Canyon Trail Professional Review and Guide

"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."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Julian
Distance: 4
Elevation Gain: 1,000 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 2.5 hours
Season: November through April
Accessibility: Kid-friendly
Local Contacts: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Local Maps: USGS Sweeney Pass, Arroyo Tapiado, Agua Caliente Springs
Driving Directions: Directions to Torote Canyon Trail

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May 2018