Place: Anza Borrego State Park, Borrego Springs, California
Dirt road entry coordinates: 33.1591, -116.2188
Trailhead coordinates: 33.1907, -116.2231
Length: 2 miles
The badlands of Anza Borrego State Park are of sediment sandstone. Sand and small rocks that had eroded from the mountains were packed and hardened over the years to create the badlands material. This semi-soft terrain is easily carved by flood water into spectacular canyons that provide fantastic hiking experience for adults and children alike.
Palm Canyon and had a great time.
|The upper, still shallow part of the Slot Canyon|
There isn't an actual trail there, but what the ranger had called, 'a social trail' that's marked by the many feet that had passed there before us. The problem with that, of course, is that there's often more than one possible trail and, having to chose one of the few we saw caused us some confusion. Eventually we followed the most apparent path and entered the wash to our left, and started going down stream.
|The deepening walls|
|Layers of sandstone, lain by olden floods.|
|Dried mud dribbles.|
The canyon walls got really high indeed. Inside The Slot it got shady and cool. At some points it got very narrow too.
Unlike Palm Wash, here we didn't need to do any rock scrambling. The wash bed kept being soft, flat gravel throughout, making it an easy walk.
In some parts, large boulders that fell on top of the narrow canyon created a natural ceiling.
The Slot part of the canyon goes on for nearly half a mile before its walls widen enough to allow vehicles. We did see tracks of vehicular use there, up until the narrow part.
On the other side of The Slot we encountered a flowering desert holly. It was a nice cheerful color to the otherwise brown-gray terrain.
|Desert Holly (Atriplex hymenelytra)|
The view from uphill included a Swiss cheese-like rock, similar to the one we saw at the Calcite Mines, but reddish in color.
The Slot Canyon is definitely a not-to-miss hike for anyone visiting Anza Borrego State Park.
And no, we did not see any Bighorn sheep there either.