Pumpkin Patch Trail - Ocotillo Wells SVRA

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4.7/5 (4 reviews)
Borrego Springs, California (Imperial County)
Last Updated: 01/01/2019

Trail Information


Overlapping San Diego and Imperial Counties nestled between Anza Borrego Desert State Park and the Salton Sea is the Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area; an 85,000-acre playground for off-road enthusiasts. Some of the popular attractions in the park are Pumpkin Patch, Tectonic Gorge, Truckhaven, the 4x4 Training Area, Badlands, Shell Reef, Devil's Slide, and Blowsand Hill among many others. Pumpkin Patch is an iconic geological site and a must-see while visiting Anza Borrego or Ocotillo Wells. Wind erosion has blown away the land's surface to reveal the unique pumpkin shaped concretions millions of years in the making.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

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Trail Reviews

4.7/5 (4)
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Official Crew
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Rated 4/5
Visited: 12/27/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

This is such a fun trail for anyone--kiddos love the "Pumpkin Patch" payoff and there are lots of smaller "patches" along the way that allow you to check out these cool formations. I agree that pretty much any higher clearance vehicle can make the trip, however the "Rollercoaster" section might make you wonder for a second if you made the right choice. Adventurous drivers will be rewarded! Note that my trail vid is the exit route that the Author suggested to get back to S22: Tule Wash to Crossover Trail. The day I visited, I used this Trails Offroad GPS track to navigate from the Patch to Shell Reef Road--very, very fun. Great trail--four stars from me since to get a five star would involve waterfalls & vistas :)
Visited: 05/24/2021

Great little trail in the middle of the park. If coming from Anza Borrego you will do this trail before you get to the Pumpkin Patch, If coming from Ocotillo Wells, you will do it after you get to the Pumpkin Patch. The Roller Coaster section (Video) is a little challenging, but only requires 4Hi, no big deal for our Gladiator. I just stayed in 4Hi as we were completely alone in the park and didn't want to take a chance on getting stuck. I would rate this section a 2-3. Lots of sandy washes getting to/from this trail as well. If you just want to see the Pumpkin Patch, and not want do this section of trail, you can take S22 to Arroyo Salado wash, to Thule Wash, directly to the Patch. Will pass 5 palms and 17 Palms Oasis along the way. Both these parks have trails going every which way, but the main trails are well marked. That said we were completely alone, never encountered another vehicle, and without Gia GPS, I would have been a little uncomfortable. I downloaded the TrailsOffRoad map for Pumpkin Patch Trail direct to Gia GPS, and Gia kept me on the exact trail the entire way. I can't say enough good things about Gia GPS and TrailsOffRoad. Now that TrailsOffRoad trails now a direct drop to Gia, it's a no brainer. There are many Overland/Gia GPS Bloggers with youtube videos with links for huge discounts on the Gia GPS 5 year premium plan. Just get it. And upgrade to the Community membership here at TrailsOffRoad! You get access to more trails! ***The Thumbnail for my video is not part of the trail. Don't let that deter you. It's just the view before turning.***
Trail Review: Pumpkin Patch Trail - Ocotillo Wells SVRA - Paul Crawford
Rated 5/5
Visited: 01/28/2021

Great trip through some very interesting geography. We saw only 2 other’s riding dirt bikes. The trail is well traveled so my guess is it is a heavy traffic area on the weekends. The trail was well groomed and marked. Enough to make my wife have white knuckles in a few areas. Fun route but the “Pumpkin Patch” is the star of the show. We extended our loop to include the CrossOver trail too.
Trail Review: Pumpkin Patch Trail - Ocotillo Wells SVRA - Wade Norton
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Official Crew
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Rated 5/5
Visited: 01/01/2019

So cool. A must stop. This one might not be a pumpkin but a burger.
Trail Review: Pumpkin Patch Trail - Ocotillo Wells SVRA - Josh Noesser

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