Fish Creek Trail - Anza Borrego

4.7/5 (27 reviews)
Ocotillo, California (Imperial County)
Last Updated: 09/26/2022
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Trail Information

Highlights

Most off-road enthusiasts find that Fish Creek is one of their favorite routes in United State because of the scenery and connectivity to a wide range of trails. You can easily find yourself making a full weekend of just exploring what Fish Creek has to offer. Fish Creek starts at Split Mountain and heads southwest then north ending up at Pinyon Mountain. Along the route, you will pass wind caves, earthquake faults, dinosaur tracks, sandstone canyons, and many other natural wonders.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

While traveling Fish Creek, expect lots of soft sand with some areas of rocks. The trail can easily be traversed in most stock 4x4's. The first part of the trail "Split Mountain" is a popular gathering spot because of the views, wind caves, and dinosaur tracks. As you continue on the path, it turns into more of the standard desert wash with many other trails splitting off. This area can get over 100+ degrees in the summer and can flood in rain. Always travel with a group and never go in the area if it can rain. For more information on Split Mountain, please visit: Split Mountain Here
The area is prone to flash floods, never travel in this wash if the treat of rain is in the area.

Trail Reviews

4.7/5 (27 reviews)
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 11/25/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

Fun trail with several offshoots and areas to explore on foot too.
Tommy
1500
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 03/12/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Awesome trail! Love coming here all the time. It's a favorite of mine. Easy to do, great camp spots, beautiful rock formations. Fun at night too. Plenty of opportunities for harder lines for those looking for a challenge. 2WD Tacoma has done fine on this. Some deeper sand spots to be careful with a 2WD. Anything with 4WD is fine. I've seen AWD sedans out here before! Probably not a good idea but still proves the point. Minimal ground clearance to get over some small obstacles.
Trail Review: Fish Creek Trail - Anza Borrego - Tommy
Trail Review: Fish Creek Trail - Anza Borrego - Tommy
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Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 01/14/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Easy trail, not as much deep sand this trip; however, it was non stop washboard. We were headed to Sandstone Canyon so we didn't get to the last few way points, but there were plenty of designated campsites with fire rings along the way. Pics online don't do it justice, this is a beautiful trail, especially close to sunset during golden hour.
Trail Review: Fish Creek Trail - Anza Borrego - Scotty V
Trail Review: Fish Creek Trail - Anza Borrego - Scotty V
Status: Open
Visited: 01/09/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

I'd like to add one correction in regards to the difficulty rating. It says "mandatory -1, optional - 3". I agree with most of it, but there is a spot between points 11 and 12 (probably about 1/4 to 1/3 of distance from 11 to 12), which has a small ramp featuring some tall rocks and noticeable ruts. There is no easier alternate route for it, and also the tall rock in the middle can't be avoided much - there is not enough room on either side to drive one of the wheel over it, so one way or another it will go under the car. The ruts around it make it trickier to avoid touching it. Of course this is no big deal for Jeeps, FJs, 4Runners etc, but for a unibody SUV (mine is actually lifted and I have ~9' clearance) its is a feasible, but tricky spot. I feel that this would qualify for a more than "1" difficulty because of this. As a matter of fact, to me deep sand was less of a concern while driving there recently (even for just an AWD, not even 4WD), but some "steps" and occasional boulders to go over were calling for more attention.
Trail Review: Fish Creek Trail - Anza Borrego - Volodymyr Derhachov
Trail Review: Fish Creek Trail - Anza Borrego - Volodymyr Derhachov
Status: Open
Rated 3/5
Visited: 12/06/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Maybe I'm the scrooge here but I didn't find this trail very interesting. It is not a super smooth trail that allows you to just drive and enjoy the leisurely day and it is not a difficult trail that makes for fun challenges. It is just very rocky and full of washboards and that's about it. You're just rattling along the whole way with nothing super enjoyable. Airing down the tires is a must. There are some mildly interesting stops along the way but once you've driven past a few towering canyon walls, the novelty wears off and there isn't much else to look at. I will say there are a lot of places to disperse camp along the way, mostly not private as they are directly off the trail but some of the connecting trails offer a bit more distance.

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