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Canyon Sin Nombre



4.4 mile 7.1 kilometer point to point
99% Runnable


Ascent: 0' 0 m
Descent: -677' -206 m
High: 1,213' 370 m
Low: 536' 163 m


Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 12% (7°)


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Trail shared by Nick Mayer

An amazing canyon with great slots & perfect trail, erosion, and rock formations to view with a finish at a vast washout

Nick Mayer

Features Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Do not enter the canyon if the area is expecting rain as this canyon has high flash flood occurrences; also be hydrated and bring plenty of water as there is none in or on the trail. This land is BLM and therefore open to highway legal 4x4's and is visited as a classic 4x4 jeep trail. Be watchful for off roaders as they might not expect you running in the middle of the desert.

Runner Notes

There is an ever so slight downhill grade the entire way out that becomes more noticeable while running out. Keep this in mind to conserve enough energy for return run. Also, come prepared as there is no water and high temps with almost nowhere to find shade.


The trail can be found on standard GPS navigation by entering Sin Nombre Canyon Rd. as your destination. While driving on Sweeny Pass, there is a small brown trail sign to mark the turnoff. There is an elevated flat area where you can park near Sweeny Pass or you can pull in down Sin Nombre Canyon Rd. a little further. Note: You'll need 4-wheel drive if you choose to pull in because the drop in to the trail is steep and off camber.

From the very start, the trail is absolutely stunning with vast expanse views of the desert and hills. The trail starts in open desert and is exceptionally easy to follow as it is highly visited by avid 4x4 adventurers. It is only a short distance before you enter the canyon, and the walls are close and create an immediate feeling of wild desolation.

As you proceed further in, ancient molten rock formations are visible in the canyon walls and the canyon begins to open up a bit more. Open spaces and turnouts are frequent as the canyon grows wider and backcountry camping is permitted, and you are likely to encounter people on the spring and/or fall weekends.

The trail has an almost unnoticeable downhill grade the entire way out, and near mile 3 to 3.5, the canyon grows immensely wider until it is wide open desert. The trail is still very easy to follow and ends in a beautiful washout with wide open views and other connecting roads and trails.

Flora & Fauna

Ocotillo and cactus are all along the trail. Be wary of rattlesnakes.

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in California


4 Views Last Month
892 Since Mar 15, 2016



Washout at end of the trail.
Apr 12, 2017 near Pine Va…, CA
Smoke trees line Sin Nombre Canyon Road.
May 10, 2017 near Pine Va…, CA
Scored mud marks the mouth of the slot canyon.
May 10, 2017 near Pine Va…, CA
Entering Sin Nombre Canyon.
Apr 12, 2017 near Pine Va…, CA
The view as the canyon begins to widen.
Apr 12, 2017 near Pine Va…, CA
Approaching the opening to Sin Nombre Canyon.
Apr 12, 2017 near Pine Va…, CA