South Carrizo Creek - Anza Borrego

Ocotillo, California (Imperial County)

Last Updated: 05/03/2017
3.5 / 5 ( 2 reviews )
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Difficulty: 1-1
( EASY )
Length: 4 miles
Highest Elevation: 500 feet
Duration: About 1 hour
Shape of Trail: Connector
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Ocotillo
Nearest Town w/ Services: Ocotillo
Official Road Name: South Carrizo Creek
Management Agency: Anza-Borrega Desert State Park
District: Anza-Borrega Desert State Park
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles


Highlight: South Carrizo Creek - Anza Borrego
In the lower portion of Anza Borrego Desert, there is a section of trail that skirts around marsh land and is an interesting site to see. The level of green in the area is almost unbelievable as you head down the wash. If you choose to continue down this trail, it will take you straight into the heart of the Carrizo Badlands which can be said to be one of the most unique views of all of Anza Borrego Desert. The next time you are down that way, make sure you take Carrizo Creek South.



7 day forecast for South Carrizo Creek - Anza Borrego

Route Information

Advanced Rating System

Recommended Vehicle:
2WD Vehicle with High Clearance
Trail is mostly compressed sand

Technical Rating: 1-1
( EASY )

Dirt and/or rocky road. Potential rocks and/or tree stumps less than 5" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 5" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 6" inches. Good tire placement likely. Can be steep, but with good traction.
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Carrizo Canyon is mostly a sandy wash with some easy but tight dirt roads. The boulders are few and far between and can get up to about 6 inches round in spots. With the soft sand, it is recommended that you have 4WD to help reduce the risk of getting stuck.


1. South Carrizo Trailhead (0 mi)
The trail begins right off highway S2 and heads north. The trail name can be a bit confusing since it is south and it is on the north side of the road. On the south side of the road is Carrizo Creek / Canyon / Gorge.
2. Views Along The Route (2 mi)
Some of the views along the route.
3. End of Trail (Vallecito Wash, Canyon Sin Nombre, and Carrizo Creek) (4 mi)
The trail ends where four other trails connect. The main ones are Vallecito Wash, Canyon Sin Nombre, and Carrizo Creek. From here you can go almost any direction in the desert and find any type of wheeling you would want to attempt.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 32.845675, -116.199194

Starting Point: Ocotillo, CA

***South End:*** Carrizo Creek / Canyon / Gorge trailhead is roughly 14 miles north of Ocotillo right at the bottom of Sweeny Pass. It is easy to find since the highway turns to cement where the trailhead meets the road. ***North End:*** The trail starts where Vallecito Wash, Canyon Sin Nombre, and Carrizo Creek all join together.


Dispersed camping is allowed in this area and throughout Anza Borrego State Park. But there is no one spot worth camping at over others along the trail. Many people like to camp near Arroyo Tapiado which is not far from this trail. No wood fires are allowed while doing dispersed camping unless in one of the many Anza Borrego State Park designated campgrounds, in which case, wood campfires in metal rings may be allowed with restrictions. Make sure you check with the Rangers prior to planning a wood campfire. Please visit Reserve America to find the camping area for you.
Camping: South Carrizo Creek - Anza Borrego

Trail Reviews (2)

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
I used this trail to get to the mud caves area. It’s pretty easy but watch out for overgrown bushes and some substantial woops that will jump out at you

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Nice connector trail, there was a spot that looked like a good camping area midway through the trail. There was some pinstriping on the trail per the description; my doors learned that lesson the hard way.

Questions & Answers (0)

Writer Information

Josh Noesser

Mapping Crew - California

Joshua Noesser grew up in Southern California but has lived in different parts of the country during his young adult life. Josh was first turned to four wheeling when he road with one of his friends dad up Surprise Canyon in the Panamint Valley at age14. After nearly 3 different roll overs later and a half dozen intense waterfalls, Josh was hooked. At 16 he purchased his first Jeep a CJ 7 and by 17 was putting his first locker in it. Currently, Josh is the owner and CEO of Nybble, an IT Solutions Company based in Orange County, California. Nybble isn't your normal IT company where everyone stays in and plays video games. Nybble's average company trip is out on the trails since a good amount of his staff enjoy wheeling too. As Josh likes to say, he offers the only IT Company with the ability to provide services in extreme locations. "If you want a server at the top of The Hammers, we will take care of that for you." Today you can find Josh out on the trail behind the wheel in one of his three different off-road vehicles. See the vehicles below for more information. If you ever run into Josh, please say high, he is a very friendly person and is always happy to have a new person join the group.
For individual use only, not to be shared.