Explore the amazing Anza Borrego Desert Slot

Tom’s Experience canyoneering through the Anza Borrego Desert Slot:

The Anza Borrego Desert Slot (or just “The Slot” for short) is a fun, short slot canyon in the middle of the Anza Borrego Desert State Park.

Anza Borrego Desert Slot

Getting to the trailhead can be a little difficult because it is on a loose sand road. The road is fairly well maintained though and should be reachable in any vehicle when the road is dry.

Anza Borrego Desert Slot Canyon

The slot canyon gets pretty narrow but its length is only 0.8 miles.

Best Anza Borrego Desert Slot Hikes

The descent into the slot is pretty easy to get in and out and the slot literally starts right off of the parking lot.

Anza Borrego Desert Slot Canyon

Near the end of the slot there is a fallen pillar that has gotten stuck in the slot that creates a natural bridge.

The Anza Borrego Desert Slot

To get out I just walked back up the slot to where I parked my car. Dogs are not permitted on any trail in the Anza Borrego Desert Park.

Tom’s Rating:

Trail Info: From Christmas Circle in Borrego Springs, drive 11.5 miles southeast on Borrego Springs Road. Turn left on Route 78 East, drive 1.5 miles, and turn left (north) on a dirt road marked Buttes Pass. Drive one mile up this dirt road to a fork, and continue to the left up Borrego Mountain Wash. Go another mile to the parking area for The Slot. Low clearance vehicles should be able to drive all the way to the trailhead at the end of the sandy dirt road. There were plenty of footprints that I could follow to help me get into the slot.

GPS:

Trailhead = 33.18213,-116.214188

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Hike the exciting Calcite Mine Trail and Narrows

Tom’s Experience hiking to the Calcite Mine and Narrows:

The Calcite Mine and Narrows is a very hot hike in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park. You follow a dirt road for the first mile or so on this hike and may have to share the road with 4-wheelers.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Calcite Mine

 

The road starts off fairly gentle but eventually gets very rough and rocky so I’m glad I didn’t try to bring my car. After about 1.4 miles turn left and head up a canyon that is only open to hikers.

Slot Canyon in California

The canyon begins to narrow and there are a few easy obstacles that you need to climb over in order to progress up canyon.

Calcite Mine Anza Borrego Desert State Park

Eventually you reach the mine. I wasn’t able to find the actual mine but there was a ton of discarded calcite below my feet. Return the way you came and if you would like, you can continue heading down canyon rather than following the 4wd road you came up.

Calcite Mine Trail

It is easy to get lost in the canyon and you may have a difficult time finding your way back to the car if you take the canyon down but it is definitely more scenic than the road. The narrows on this hike are pretty cool but they are very short.

Calcite Mine Narrows

The calcite from this mine was used in world war 2 in the precision bomb sights and anti-aircraft weaponry. Dogs are not permitted on any trail in the Anza Borrego Desert Park.

Tom’s Rating:

Trail Info: This is a 4-mile long hike to an old Calcite Mine from world war 2. The trail is not marked well and it is very easy to get lost in the desert. I would recommend taking a map or a very reliable GPS because it is easy to get lose your way in the desert canyons. From Christmas Circle in Borrego Springs, drive east for 4.3 miles on Palm Canyon Drive. The road bends north, becoming Pegleg Road. After 2.4 miles, the road turns east onto Borrego Salton Seaway (Route S22). Drive another 12.4 miles to the trailhead. There is a large turnout on the north side of the road near mile marker 38. Calcite Mine Trail begins 0.2 miles to the east (marker 38.2). Directly across from the trailhead, there is a smaller pullout on the south side of the road near emergency call box 382. Park in either spot and walk to the display panel at the start of Calcite Mine Road, which describes the history of Calcite Mine.

GPS:

Calcite Mine Trailhead = 33.281181,-116.096486

Calcite Mine = 33.299381,-116.110614

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 Please comment below to share your experience on the Calcite Mine Trail. Don’t forget to register to receive the Travel Tom’s Newsletter by submitting your email in the bar above.