Arroyo Salado Trail

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The Arroyo Salado Trail exists in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and driving through offers you a good variety of terrain. There are oasises, washes, canyons and numerous trails. This one trail sure packs a lot of punch.

It begins in the Arroyo Salado Wash at the place where the Truckhaven Trail turns north of the side wash. Most part of the trail is rated 3 for difficulty.

First Oasis - Seventeen Palms[edit]

After you drive for a short distance over sandy terrain of the wash you reach a short spur taking you to the Seventeen Palms. This is a watering hole for the wildlife with a couple of palms in the area. You cannot camp at this spot.

Continue on the main route for a short distance down the Arroyo Salado Wash and you then enter the Borrego Badlands along the Cut Across Trail. The terrain in the Badlands is made up of clay soil which can get very greasy in the rains and hence is not very safe to use.

Second Oasis - Five Palms[edit]

A little further down the trail you come to the second oasis - the Five Palms. As the name suggests, from the original there are just 4 palms still standing.

After a mile, the Tule Wash Trail turns east into the Ocotillo Wells OHV Area, passing through the Pumpkin Patch. This is a unique zone where there are large pumpkin like concretions.

The Borrego Mountains[edit]

You then drive further, across a couple of wide sandy washes to get out of the badlands and towards the Borrego Mountains. Here is where you can access the Ocotillo Wells OHV Area. One of the widest washes here is the San Felipe Wash. First timers can get a little confused as there are no clear directions here but the trail moves upstream to meet the Buttes Pass Trail.

In the Borrego Mountains and in between the West and East Butte you come upon the Buttes Pass and it is a terrific sight with its high canyon walls.

As you exit the canyon towards California 78 you find Hawk Canyon, which is another scenic site to visit. Though it is an old camping site, it is not advisable to camp close to the wash.

The trail ends at California 78 just 2.8 miles west of the ranger station at Ocotillo Wells where you can use the coin-operated showering facilities.

Maps and GPS Coordinates[edit]

Arroyo Salado Trail Coordinates: 33.270500° -116.119167° Coordinates: 33.270500° -116.119167°

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