BORREGO SPRINGS – PALM CANYON TRAIL

The Anza-Borrego Desert is magnificent and the Palm Canyon Trail leads out of Borrego Springs following a riverbed towards the mountains.

Sun rising over desert.

Sun rising over desert.

It is a three mile round trip walking trip and the walk is not too rugged so walking is relatively easy.  One of the reasons the walking is made easier are the strategically placed steps.   The stone steps were placed by the Civilian Conservation Corp.  The CCCs were skilled stone workers and there are several other stone structures in the campground.

Stone Steps built by the CCC

Stone Steps built by the CCC

When you are coming back down there is one question asked by hikers heading up the trail:  “Did you see any Bighorn Sheep?”  The Penisular Bighorn Sheep are an endangered species and it is said that there are only 280 at this time.   I didn’t happen to be so lucky as to see one, but Bill went out earlier the day before I went and was very fortunate to see three of them and managed to capture them in still pictures as well as video.

Big Horn Sheep

Big Horn Sheep

Big Horn Sheep

Big Horn Sheep – baby

Along the trail you will see many things:

The Ocotillo plants are everywhere.   After a rainfall the leaves come out within 24 hours, and will be full grown within 5 days.  After a month of no rain the leaves fall off and the process starts all over again.  The Ocotillo plant blooms March through June and it will bloom whether or not it has leaves.

Ocotillo Plants

Ocotillo Plants

Ocotillo Blooms

Ocotillo Blooms

While the trail appears to run along a river bed, we are hiking through a desert “wash” and flash floods are not uncommon.

Water rushes down the trench shown here.

Water rushes down the trench shown here.

A little stream

A little stream

Borrego Springs sits on the Andreas Fault line and you will find many California fan palms in groves growing along earthquake faults.  Apparently geological forces created conditions that allow water to seep toward the surface.

Fan Palm Oasis

Fan Palm Oasis

Other things you encounter on the trail:

A Desert Inukshuk

A Desert Inukshuk

Little Caves

Little Caves

Plants growing out of rocks

Plants growing out of rocks

Other hikers... he's obviously looking for the sheep.

Other hikers… he’s obviously looking for the sheep.

Little waterfalls

Little waterfalls

A desert bloom

A desert bloom

A desert walrus.  Somebody was nice enough to give it eyes.

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