Fish Creek Trail - Anza Borrego

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4.8/5 (44 reviews)
Ocotillo, California (San Diego County)
Last Updated: 03/21/2023
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Trail Information

Highlights

Camping Category Icon Camping
Desert Category Icon Desert
Iconic Category Icon Iconic
Overland Category Icon Overland
Sand Category Icon Sand
Wash Category Icon Wash

There is no other place like Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Many overlanders and outdoor enthusiasts seek it out for its endless exploration opportunities. Fish Creek Wash is the starting point for many since it connects to many of Anza-Borrego's most famous offroad trails. Wind, rain, powerful earthquakes, landslides, and father time have shaped Fish Creek Wash into a living, geological museum. With its wind caves, dinosaur tracks, fault lines, towering mud hills, sandstone canyons, and wildflowers, Fish Creek is a perfect place to begin your exploration of the astonishing Anza-Borrego.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Fish Creek runs through a desert wash with a mix of soft sand with exposed and hidden rocks. Trail conditions can change drastically after any rain. This trail is simple to follow. But if the weather has concealed the typical traffic pattern, stay in the wider paths to regain the route. Starting at roughly 200 feet, the trail climbs to over 2,300 feet over 18-plus miles. Fish Creek connects to Diablo's Drop Off's exit, Loop Wash, Sandstone Canyon, Olla Wash, and Hapaha Flat.

No significant obstacles exist, but all-wheel or four-wheel drive is recommended due to the sand and air down your tires.

Trail Reviews

4.8/5 (45)
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Rated 5/5
Visited: 02/05/2024
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

2/5/24 - Trail not in bad condition. The recent rains have only lightly dampened the area. that said, it is now scheduled to rain all week so expect changing conditions. made it to sandstone canyon and beyond with relative ease. diablo’s drop off isn’t horrible right now either (completed in another 4x4 taco). aired down to about 20psi
Trail Review: Fish Creek Trail - Anza Borrego - Tommy/Eric
Trail Review: Fish Creek Trail - Anza Borrego - Tommy/Eric
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300
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Visited: 11/12/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Great views along the way. Roads are fairly easy, no major ruts. Definitely a bumpy ride so be sure to air down. There was a lot of traffic Veterans Day weekend but nonetheless, a beautiful easy scenic trail that led us to the bottom of diablo drop off. For those that don't know, like myself, fish creek to diablo takes you to the bottom of the drop off which you'll have to climb up. Lower section of the drop off is definitely trickier climbing up but 2nd section wasn't too bad. You have many lines to pick. Fish creek was great!
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Visited: 09/16/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Love this trail with a passion. I run it every time I go to the superstition mountain area. I ran this trail to waypoint 13 but went south on Diablo dropoff from there. Beautiful walls carved through the hills with some nice camping as well.
Trail Review: Fish Creek Trail - Anza Borrego - Thomas Gasperlin
Trail Review: Fish Creek Trail - Anza Borrego - Thomas Gasperlin
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Rated 5/5
Visited: 06/26/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

I love this trail it’s beautiful! Decided to do a solo evening/night run (test out some new lights). I was short on time so I only did the first couple of miles but lots of fun and the canyon walls are really interesting to walk out and explore. At the time of writing this, there is less “deep sand” (again, I only went in about 30-45 min each way) so a 2WD high clearance shouldn’t have much issue (that’s me!) I aired down to approx ~26 psi. Beautiful spot, great for pics!
Trail Review: Fish Creek Trail - Anza Borrego - Tommy/Eric
Trail Review: Fish Creek Trail - Anza Borrego - Tommy/Eric
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500
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Rated 5/5
Visited: 03/26/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Beautiful area. We spent two days and 1 night camping. Entered Vallecito wash to Arroyo Tapiado to Diablo Drop, Fish Creek to Sandstone Canyon, Then out Fish Creek to Ocotillo. Rather than post a recent picture, as there are many pics and vids of the area these days.... I'm posting a picture of waypoint #6 from 1983. My CJ5 in the back with the fresh lift and Massive 33" Dick Cepek Fun Country tires
Trail Review: Fish Creek Trail - Anza Borrego - Chris

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