Explore the most popular birding trails in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This trail appears to be officially dead, if you want to get a look at the trestle you are going to have to do it for Mortero Palms and view it from Anza Borrego property.

The tracks leading to it from both ends are part of the Pacific Imperial Railways right of way through Anza Borrego State Park. I think you can still legally get close enough to see it, you just can't go into the 100 yard right of way of the rail company.

off road driving
8 days ago

Some moderately rough spots but my stock 2002 Land Cruiser didn’t have any issue with any of it. Recommend for some fun wheelin.

We did this hike on Memorial Day. Needed to get out of the cold weather we’ve been having in San Diego so didn’t mind the 100 degree heat at noon when we hit the trail. There was actually a nice breeze blowing most of the time so the heat wasn’t oppressive. Brought plenty of water and some calories with us and just went at a steady pace. Boulders a bit hot but still manageable and plenty of shade in the palm grove the closer you get to the top. Nearly impossible to get lost since all trail derivations go in the same direction. Saw a couple of bighorn sheep near the top. You definitely want to be mindful of the cactus that jut out onto the trail but otherwise it is an easy and well marked and maintained trail. Cold beer at Carlee’s afterward was a must. I would do it again for sure when there is water flowing.

Nice variation in terrain from start to finish. Gradual uphill incline that gets progressively more interesting as you get closer and closer to the falls. Definitely easy to moderate in cool to warm conditions. It was 79° and breezy on the day we did it. I could see this being a difficult trek on a 100+° day, pack your water and dress accordingly. Some good traction boots and a sense of navigation helps on this one, as you negotiate your way through the various palm groves. Trailhead is easily accessed, no dirt or gravel roads to deal with. Highly recommend if you’re in the area and looking for something scenic, lengthy, not super difficult, and memorable.

Trickle of water at The falls. Had a beautiful cooler weekend in late May to be able to hike this. If you like boulder hopping this was moderate opportunity for you at the high end.

Had a great time here. Fun offroad driving, difficult at times, but beautiful scenery. We camped off of the trail, which was very nice. We will absolutely be back again once the weather gets cooler.

hiking
1 month ago

If your in the area you must stop and see the slot. It’s so amazing. Easy to get to from the 78. No 4wd needed.

on Cactus Loop Trail

hiking
1 month ago

pretty awesome hike. start point is next the a water tower. I super highly recommend to drive a truck or SUV to this start point. you'll be driving off a road onto a dirt bumpy pathway for about 1.5 miles. parking is free.

you'll go through about 4 tunnels, 2 train cars on the side of the mountain. that's about it. kind of not as exciting from and four to 5 mini trestle bridges the other start point (which I haven't tried yet). the trestle bridge itself is amazing! if youre a daredevil, you can climb through the beams under the track and get some killer photos.

bring lots of water and snacks cause 14 or so miles round trip is not easy.

Perfect weather today to hike up to the falls in Palm Trees.

Flat hike. Heard there was some big horn sheep here but we didn’t see any. Made it with my 3 year old. No shade.

1 month ago

the slot trail was easy and down a dirt road so passing in a car is impossible, there is another dirt road path that starts on the other side of the slots. We encountered a few other groups in the slots but only 2 once out of them. the slots themselves are fun for the family and windcaves can be found about half a mile past that.

You can make this a great day hike, or camp out right before the canyon narrows for an awesome overnight. We camped out and had an amazing time. Bring lots of water as there is none on the trail, and depending on the time you go, may not be any at the falls.

hiking
2 months ago

Wife and kids loved this place. Easy access

hiking
2 months ago

wow a great hike but be prepared. very steep at the top. one hour from the saddle to summit. twenty minutes back. great view. just below the top find the big rocks that offer a shade cave. geology 101 w variety of rock all around. i was glad it was cloudy.

2 months ago

Awesome and easy. Kids loved it. Lots of shade for a hot day. I wish the trail that looped back over the butte was more clearly sign posted. We ended up just turning around and going back through the slot.

hiking
2 months ago

After finishing the Palm Canyon hike we drove over to the slot. The entrance from the highway is small and the road to the parking lot is sand packed one-way track with turn outs. We (3 adults and 3 kids (9-11 years old) did this easy hike and it was fantastic. Warning: there are some areas where it is more suited for slender body types and wearing a backpack (even a small one) can be a little tight. It's a nice short hike and pretty relaxed. We did this at the end of the day and by the time we came up we caught the sunset

hiking
2 months ago

Great workout. Bring plenty of water for this one!

hiking
2 months ago

I’m actually not ready to rate trail yet (I haven’t hiked it til tomorrow), BUT, I have to say that it is not what most people would consider near Julian, CA (despite this listing saying it is).

Sure, it’s 25 miles straight line as the crow flies, but it’s about 43 miles and 1 hour drive through the mountains to get there from Julian.

on Canyon Sin Nombre

2 months ago

This trail is the museum of geology.

Hiked this yesterday with my 4 amigos. We were a group with varying degrees of fitness, but all hikers. First, take at least 3 L of H2O, it get's hot up there. It helps to drink some electrolytes beforehand or eat some blocks during. There is no shade! Start out with sunscreen on and re-apply liberally. We started at 8:30 a.m. and only averaged a mile or so per hour. I would recommend starting earlier if it is warm. When we finished it was 85 degrees! Too hot IMHO. I would NOT park at the abandoned tractor tires, I would go on down the road to the structure and park there. Go up on this side. For the first part of the trail, it is mostly way-finding. Once you get up past the first ridge, there is a bit of a trail and we built some cairns to help you out. Not so many cairns at the first part. I would recommend lug-soled boots and poles. The trail can be unkind in some places and you need good traction and support. Great work-out and nice views.

Starts with the Borrego Palm Canyon Hike. Follow the canyon a few miles past the first palm grove, then ascend the ridgeline to Indianhead Peak. The elevation gain is all in the last couple miles, very steep and difficult. Lots of fun bouldering, but most of the mountain is composed of schist which breaks off in shards and covers most of the mountain in loose and slippery rock. Slipped and fell into cacti several times.

Wont be hiking the peak again, but the canyon hike was beautiful, have never seen so much water there. Glorious.

this is really only a 2-mile hike from the turn off the road to the top of the Hills. could not find the starting point on the road for the complete hike

hiking
3 months ago

Our group also hiked this one in February and the weather was perfect. We started at the parking area and walked the Jeep trail (some in the party did not like this part) but once we reached the Slot canyon everyone was pleased. I myself find beauty in most hikes and this one was no different. There are some great views at the start of an open desert, then you hike on the Jeep Trail for a bit with above canyon views and drop in at the end. Very nice.

hiking
3 months ago

Walked the Slot in February and found it to by a nice hike with interesting scenery in the canyon with narrow as well as wide walled areas. We did not know it looped and did not have our AllTrails app so our hike was short, but it was nice. I wore a pack on this one, and some spots can be tight to squeeze through with a pack.

Feb 25 2018. Serious bushwhacking for majority of trail past first palm grove. Basically you are inventing a trail past the first palm grove. You have to follow the water up the canyon, you gain about 1000 vertical in 3 miles up the canyon. With the slow go of route finding / boldering it took us nearly 2.5-3 hours to get to the top of the canyon so we did not get to the peak. Great canyon though as we saw multiple bighorn sheep, beatles, and desert hare. Wear pants, the plants will shred your shins.......

hiking
3 months ago

Great little trail. Getting in at the trail head might be tough for those that require a cane to walk, it gets pretty skinny at times but awesome fun. The trail can go much farther than is listed if you want to.

Pay attention to trail markers so you don’t miss your exits.

off road driving
3 months ago

Really fun trail. First few miles are pretty open and fast paced. At about 7-8 mikes in you come to a steep very rocky uphill climb. Lots of big loose rocks. High clearance a must. I put it in 4L to make it easier. After that it opens up again and leads you out to the valley and continues on to the rest of Coyote Canyon. There were 2 water crossings. Not too deep

I enjoyed this hike, the scramble over rocks through the canyon was especially fun. It was nice to be able to see a few different landscapes on such a short little hike. Walked back and night and lost the trail a bit but since it's in between 2 little mountains it's easy to stay in the right direction.

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