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Culp Valley Loop

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Western Sonoran + Colorado Desert, California

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Culp Valley Loop

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  • Culp Valley Loop begins at the Culp Valley Primitive Campground.- Culp Valley Loop
  • The view from Culp Valley Trail.- Culp Valley Loop
  • A scenic overlook at Culp Valley.- Culp Valley Loop
  • The view to the southeast from the overlook.- Culp Valley Loop
  • Culp Valley features impressive views of the Anza-Borrego desert.- Culp Valley Loop
  • The evening sun casts long shadows over the mountains.- Culp Valley Loop
  • The San Ysidro Mountains frame the horizon.- Culp Valley Loop
  • The Culp Valley Trail passes over a dry wash.- Culp Valley Loop
  • The view from Culp Valley Trail.- Culp Valley Loop
  • Culp Valley has numerous bouldering opportunities.- Culp Valley Loop
  • The view from Culp Valley Trail.- Culp Valley Loop
  • A view of the San Ysidro Mountains to the northwest.- Culp Valley Loop
  • The view from another scenic overlook at Culp Valley.- Culp Valley Loop
  • The desert town of Borrego Springs as seen from Culp Valley Trail.- Culp Valley Loop
  • On a clear day the view stretches all the way to the Salton Sea.- Culp Valley Loop
  • The view from Culp Valley Trail.- Culp Valley Loop
  • The view from Culp Valley Trail.- Culp Valley Loop
  • Sunset over Culp Valley.- Culp Valley Loop
  • Culp Valley features panoramic views of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.- Culp Valley Loop
  • Cholla cacti at sunset in Culp Valley.- Culp Valley Loop
  • The golden hour at Culp Valley.- Culp Valley Loop
  • A close-up view of chaparral growing along Culp Valley Trail.- Culp Valley Loop
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Beautiful views. Bouldering opportunities. Solitude.
Cons: 
Little shade. Extreme summer temperatures.
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Region:
Western Sonoran + Colorado Desert, CA
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
No
Highest point: 
3,435.00 ft (1,046.99 m)
Year round: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
None
Permit required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Fall
Total Distance: 
1.40 mi (2.25 km)
Total elevation gain: 
260.00 ft (79.25 m)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
3,250.00 ft (990.60 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Nestled in the San Ysidro Mountains within Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Culp Valley Loop is an easy hike that features panoramic desert views. At 3,300 feet above sea level, temperatures at Culp Valley are considerably cooler than in the low desert to the east. Nevertheless, they can still reach upwards of 100 degrees during the summer, and it’s best to do this hike during early morning or late evening.

Begin at the northeast end of the Culp Valley Primitive Campground located just off of Montezuma Valley Road. The first half-mile is a wheelchair-friendly stretch to a scenic overlook of Pinyon Ridge and the desert below. From here, the trail swings to the northwest and views of the San Ysidro Mountains. Culp Valley Loop Trail soon reaches a junction with the California Riding and Hiking Trail, which leads to another panoramic viewpoint.

Over 3,000 feet below lays the town of Borrego Springs framed by the Santa Rosa Mountains on the distant horizon. On a clear day, the view extends all the way to the Salton Sea, situated some 30 miles to the northeast as the crow flies. Head back the same way to the Culp Valley Loop Trail, which subsequently merges with a dirt road and circles back to the campground.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(4 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(20 within a 30 mile radius)

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