It is always somewhat miraculous to find water in the desert, and even more so to find a crisp clear creek with several waterfalls. This is a moderate 5.1-mile out-and-back hike in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park that leads up a canyon to a series of waterfalls. With about 1,000 feet of elevation gain over 2.5 miles, the trail rises gently from the floor of the desert up the canyon to the falls, where there is a distinct change in flora and fauna. The trail starts with ocotillo, yucca, and creosote bushes and leads up to groves of rare wild California fan palms, sycamore trees, and even ferns by the waterfall. The trail splits and rejoins multiple times toward the end, but all forks lead to the same destination. Some rock scrambling is required. Mammals can be a rare sight here, but big horn sheep and coyotes are sometimes spotted; scorpions and western fence lizards are more common. A small 5-foot waterfall sits about half a mile past Maidenhair Falls, and it has a pool that is large enough for wading if you have the time and energy to go a bit further.
Camping is allowed anywhere in the park that is that at least 100 feet from a water source and at least 20 feet from a trail or road. Fires must be contained in a metal container, and dogs are not allowed on trails.
Crowds can vary from nonexistent in most years to more robust levels when super blooms are in effect. Crowds are the rare exception here, and usually there is no shortage of solitude in this park.