Arroyo Seco del Diablo

Total Miles


511.91 ft


1.5 Hours

Technical Rating



Best Time

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Trail Overview

Arroyo Seco del Diablo is a 13.2-mile point-to-point trail rated 3 of 10 located within the California Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (ABDSP). Arroyo Seco del Diablo is Spanish for Devil's Dry Wash and lies amid the Carrizo Badlands, part of the alluvial fan from the ancestral Colorado River. The wash cuts through the hardened sandstone, creating a wash that is a tributary of the Vallecito Creek. The wash was cut by massive floodwaters millions of years ago. But don't let that fool you; the wash is still subject to flooding after local storms or rainfall over the mountains to the west. Starting in the south, the trail intersects with three other trails: Vellecito Creek Road, which provides access to State Route 22, Diablo Drop Off, a steep drop into Fish Creek Wash, and Tapiado-Diablo Cut Across, which connects to Arroyo Tapiado and the Mud Caves. The trail continues another 5.6 miles past the Cut Across to the end and a turnaround point overlooking Arroyo Tapiado. Most of Arroyo Seco del Diablo twists and winds through sandstone canyons and sandy washes, unlike other local arroyos with their high mud-packed walls. The trail consists of sand, dirt, rocks, and the potential for mud or water. Due to the nature of the canyon, sections of the walls may collapse, creating obstacles or even blocking the trails until weathered. Don't expect cell phone service and the nearest services are located in Borrego Springs. Trails within the ABDSP are restricted to street-legal vehicles.


The trail consists of loose rocks, dirt, and sand with some slick rock surfaces and mud holes possible. No steps are higher than 12 inches. 4WD may be required, and aggressive tires are a plus.


Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is a California State Park located within the Colorado Desert of southern California, United States. The park takes its name from 18th-century Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and the Spanish word borrego, which literally means "lamb" but is also used to describe the desert bighorn sheep. With nearly 600,000 acres, it is the largest state park in California as well as the 48 contiguous states. The park has varied topography that includes dry lake beds, badlands, and mountains that rise above 5,500 feet (1,675 meters). Two-thirds of the park's area is designated as wilderness, and cactus, yucca, and ocotillo are abundant throughout. Among the park's attractions are groves of California fan palms and a profusion of wildflowers that bloom in mid-to-late winter. Deer, kit foxes, iguanas, rattlesnakes, roadrunners, eagles, and the endangered desert bighorn sheep are all found within the park.

Technical Rating


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