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October 26, 2019

Culp Valley Trail - Borrego Springs

The Culp Valley Campground is located high above Borrego Springs on the Montezuma Valley Road.  At nearly 3000’ above Christmas Circle in Borrego Springs, it’s typically a bit cooler.

On the way home from Borrego Days we stopped to check out if the campground was RV friendly and stretch our legs on the Culp Valley Trail.

There are two easy trails from the entrance, or combined as a loop.  The trail to Pena Spring I blogged a HERE.  To hike the loop, review the previous blog too.

Back-in-the-day I often tent camped here, I've seen Borrego Sheep, coyotes, rabbits, lots of birds, etc.  Pena Spring provides a water source for all the critters.

Although the dirt access road has been graded there are only a few campsites where we would be able to level the RV.

The trail head is at the end of the campground.  This is an easy gravel trail.

The trail is well maintained and ADA accessible.

The rains of this past September have some of the flowers already blooming.

At about a quarter mile the trail makes a 'Y'.  To the right is a short side trail to the first overlook.

This first overlook is to the east over Borrego Springs, past the airport to the Salton Sea.  This is also the best spot for a cell signal, if needed.

Return to the main trail and continue the gradual uphill.

A few yards after crossing the California Riding  and Hiking Trail (CRHT) is the final viewpoint overlooking Hellhole Canyon.  A bit of a scramble on the rocks below the overlook provides views into the canyon, the trail to  Maidenhair Falls can be located, although the falls will be totally hidden.  Palm groves both above and below where the falls are located beckon.  The CRHT can be taken east into the canyon.

To hike both the Pena Spring and Culp Valley Trails as a 2.5 mile loop, I'd suggest parking at the ‘Y’ where the entrance road splits, below the Pena Spring trial head.  From there proceed up the access road to the Pena Spring trail head.

From the trail head follow the trail/wash crossing the CRHT to the spring less than a quarter mile beyond.  A small trail leads across a marshy area to the spring.  After checking out the spring return to the CRHT and proceed east over the ridge.

The CRHT will cross Culp Valley Trail, which is easy to find as it is 4’ wide and paved with gravel.  A few yards north is the viewpoint over Hellhole Canyon, south is the campground and the parking area.


  1. Another wonnderful day in BS nice hikes

  2. Much warmer than in Colorado. We are expecting temps in the single digits.

    1. I do not want to do single digits! It's warm and it's a big desert, come out before you have frostbite!

  3. We just hiked this trail last Feb for the first time. We followed a little further to see where we could go. Fun time!

    1. It is a fun little trail/loop, did you find the moteros? Glad you enjoyed it.

  4. So much more to explore around BS.

    1. Anza Borrego is a huge park, there is indeed a lot of different areas to explore.


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