Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
8,243.00 ft (2,512.47 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
20.90 mi (33.64 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Rabbit Peak via Villager is a 20.9-mile out-and-back route through the Santa Rosa Wilderness, located 13 miles east of Borrego Spring, California. The ascent to Rabbit Peak involves a steep ascent followed by a steep descent and is considered to be one of the most strenuous treks in Southern California. It features expansive views, a variety of cacti, and if you are there in the spring following a wet winter, the surrounding area may be filled with a stunning array of wildflowers! This challenging, yet rewarding, adventure is suitable for experienced hikers, trail runningers, and backpackers. 

The trail begins on the desert floor and steeply climbs up a rugged and narrow ridgeline. Visitors must be prepared for little shade and no water along this route. In approximately 6.8 miles and over 4,000 feet of elevation gain, you will reach Villager Peak (5756 feet). To reach Rabbit Peak, the trail continues upward for approximately 3.6 miles and 2,000 additional feet of elevation gain. While the trail is faint at times, navigation on the ridge is relatively straightforward. 

Upon reaching Rabbit Peak, you will be treated to 360-degree views of the surrounding area: the Santa Rosa Mountains can be seen in the northwest, the Anza-Borrego State Park can be seen in the south, and the Salton Sea can be seen in the east. 

The Santa Rosa Mountains are part of the Peninsular Ranges, a series of mountain ranges extending from Southern California to Baja Peninsula. The area is home to a variety of cacti, yucca, and desert plants that line the trail and cover the hillsides. Also, according to the Bureau of Land Management (the agency responsible for managing the area), the Santa Rosa Mountains are home to the nation's largest herd of Peninsular bighorn sheep.

WATER

You will need to carry and bring all of the water that you’ll need. 

SEASONS

Late fall to early spring are the best times of year, when the temperatures are less extreme. 

CAMPING

Backpacking and camping are allowed in the area but all water must be brought with you. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Bureau of Land Management: https://www.blm.gov/visit/santa-rosa-wilderness.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=638.

 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Scenic Views. Peak Bagging. Variety of desert plants.

Cons

Lack of shade and water.

Trailhead Elevation

970.00 ft (295.66 m)

Highest point

6,683.00 ft (2,036.98 m)

Features

Wildlife
Backcountry camping
Big vistas
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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