Culp Valley


February 21,

At mile marker 9.5 on S22 we turned off onto a sandy dirt road that led, we were told, to the Culp Valley trailhead.  We did find the trailhead to a lookout over the desert floor, but no signage beyond that to find a Culp Valley hiking loop. Go left, go right?  I wanted to explore a bit of the Culp Valley. We turned left and walked along the edge of a deep canyon; then followed the trail down to the high point of a canyon trail.

The first surprise lay behind a hill of desert bush, Pena Springs. That spring, as we later surmised, feeds the Hell Hole Canyon waterfall. We continued down the path until the canyon narrowed so tightly that bouldering onward was our only choice for forward motion.  After bouldering for 3/8 mile we turned around!

Later, looking at a map of the area, we figured we turned around about ½ mile before the falls that we had visited on our hike through Hell Hole Canyon.

New trail perspectives give me views and observations of geology or botany that I missed going one way or the other.  As for Maidenhair Falls, I now understand more about the birth of the falls by hiking through the feeder stream, Pena Springs. The entire experience was very satisfying.