Trip Report and Guide - Fish Creek, Sandstone Canyon, and Wind Caves April 2019
30 second review: Fish Creek is a great trail. It's an easy trail if you have the clearance, and doable in most anything else. The rock formations in this area make it a must see trip. There's essentially unlimited camping spots and it's the perfect spring getaway.
Amenities: There are toilets at the Fish Creek Primitive Campground near the beginning of Fish Creek. However, we highly recommend camping deeper down the road, so plan on bringing your own toilet or shovel. You will also need your own water (remember the rule of thumb: 1 gallon per person per day).
Offroad Difficulty: The Tacoma had zero issues on Fish Creek, we did travel with some friends in a Subaru Cross Trek and they were definitely moving slower through some of the features. Vehicles with a bit of clearance will be able to handle everything on Fish Creek, but more off-road oriented vehicles will move quickly through the trail.
Sand Canyon is another issue. At the time of our trip there was a recent rock slide in the canyon which made it only passable for dedicated rock crawlers. It still makes for a good hike if your vehicle can't make it any further.
Is Fish Creek Good For Kids? I would say so! Ava had a great time on the trip since there were so many rocks and flowers for her to crawl on and investigate.
Maps: You can use the following map to help get you back to Sandstone Canyon. It's actually hard to get lost, just remember that the even if the trail splits it will combine again so just head in the general direction you're supposed to go.
Fish Creek starts after driving down Highway 78 through Ocotillo Wells, a town that looks like a jumping off point to a Mad Max movie. I half wanted to head off into the sand but had to maintain focus to go check out Anza Borrego.
Borrego Springs is probably on your way here, or just a little ways out of the way and we highly recommend spending an extra day in the area to check it out. You can read our trip report here.
After driving down Split Mountain Road the road keeps degrading until only sand remains and eventually you'll see a pull out on your right hand side where the Fish Creek Wash starts.
At this point we pulled off to the side to air down. I was pretty excited as well because this was the first proper off roading we would do with the new Falken Wildpeak tires.
Immediately on the trail you feel a sense of freedom since you pretty much just head in a general direction and there really isn't much of a defined trail. There was also plenty of spots you could open it up and get some good speed off road. Ava loved being tossed around so she had a blast.
On a side note, the ARB awning and side room continues to be the best upgrade we've done for the truck.
Heading back out the way we came in you'll come to the trailhead for the Wind Caves. If you head in the general direction of the Wind Caves you'll eventually get there, but there are at least two trails to get to there.
After the Wind Caves its a fairly quick drive out. We aired up at the same dirt lot we aired down at using the Viair 88 then headed back onto Split Mountain Road.