San Felipe Wash

Total Miles


196.79 ft


1.5 Hours

Technical Rating



Best Time

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Trail Overview

San Felipe Wash is one of the longest continuous trails within the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area. The trail is an 18.4-mile point-to-point trail rated 3 of 10 and runs from Borrego Springs Road on the west end (ABDSP) to Highway 78 on the east end (OWSVRA). San Felipe Wash is one of several major drainages within the region and one of two that flows south away from the Salton Sea. In addition to the trailhead on Borrego Springs Road, the wash can be accessed from the Borrego Sink Wash. The San Felipe Wash is the main offroad trail through the northern portion of the ABDSP and spills directly into the OWSVRA. The section from Borrego Springs Road to the OWSVRA boundary is restricted to street-legal vehicles while the section within the OWSVRA is open to all OHVs. San Felipe Wash is subject to flash floods during storms as most of the runoff from the Badlands as well as the mountains to the west drains into this wash. Even when skies are clear overhead, care must be taken if there are storm clouds over the mountains. The wash is flat and slopes to the east and south. It is wide and multiple lines within the wash can be followed. The surface of the wash is generally sand with areas of hardpack. The park service maintains a sign at the boundary with the OWSVRA to notify travelers of the vehicle restrictions. All canyons and washes in the area are subject to flash floods. Travelers should watch the weather reports for the mountains to the west. There are cell towers along Highway 78 so reception may be available on sections of the trail. The nearest services are located in Borrego Springs to the northwest and Salton City to the northeast.

Photos of San Felipe Wash

San Felipe Wash
San Felipe Wash
San Felipe Wash


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 a 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


Status Reports

William Walkenhorst
Feb 08, 2024
2015 Ford F-Series
one spot of deep mud but easily skirted around if need be. some soft sand but still easily driven with 2wd most the time.

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