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Off-road Lower Coyote Canyon, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California

Coyote Canyon is located in the northwest area of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. There is a year-round stream that runs through the canyon and serves as a water source for the bighorn sheep and other wildlife. Coyote Canyon Until the mid 80’s this canyon was drivable all the way from the Terwilliger Valley to Borrego Springs City and back, now the 3.2 miles between the Upper willows and middle willows is permanently closed to motor vehicles year around. The trail is now divided in Upper Coyote Canyon and Lower Coyote Canyon and both of these sections are closed between June 1st and September 30th to preserve the watering rights of the Desert Bighorn Sheep. Campers can use the park in the designated areas. No camping is permitted to the south of the vehicle trail between Upper Willows and Lower Willows. Lower Coyote Canyon: The Lower Coyote Canyon trail begins at the northern end of Di Giorgio Rd in Borrego Springs. The best way to get there is to take Borrego Springs Rd to the north and turn right on Henderson Canyon Rd and then left on Di Giorgio Rd. Upper Coyote Canyon: ge by the Turkey Grade, a shelf road that has been cut by the Civilian Conservation Corps in as far back as 1933. This road has an uneven surface and only one vehicle can pass at a time, that too with some difficulty. Your 4WD faces deep holes, uneven cambers and loose surfaces in this section. It does not get much better as you reach the bottom. There is water all around and it makes the trail even more difficult. If you choose to do this trail in October, soon after it reopens, the challenge is greater. There is no one to maintain this track except the passing traill users. When you do finally reach the bottom however, the pressure eases. The ground turns sandy and after you cross Tule Canyon and enter the main Coyote Canyon it is good. A point to be noted: you may require lowering your tire pressure to do this stretch. Also you may be unable to choose the correct path as the terrain alters after the rains, especially the Fig Tree Valley to Baily’s Cabin track. The end of this trail is a short loop crossing Baily’s Cabin. You can rest here for the night if required as long as you keep it clean and neat. The last leg of this trail is past a fence which ends the vehicle route and loops around to rejoin the main trail. You can climb back the Turkey Grade if you wish. The Upper Coyote Canyon trail begins in Anza in the Terwilliger Valley. Bailey Cabin is located at the northern reaches of Coyote Canyon. Source: Dirtopia
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