Explore the most popular walking 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.

4 days 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.

Wonderful trail! Have seen bighorn sheep many times. Hot this time of year; drink water!
Horses are not allowed.

It was a pretty good trail, don’t think I was allowed to do it on a dual sport but I did it anyway. The soft sand was ruff haha. I probably wouldn’t do it again because of my off road vehicle, but there is definitely beauty in desert scenery.

20 days ago

Wife and kids loved this place. Easy access

25 days 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.

The Palms at the end of the canyon are such a beautiful surprise. I recommend taking the alternate route back. It provided a bit more variety and elevation change. Plus it was less crowded. (Though no shade). Kids loved this hike.

26 days 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.

Kids loved it. Nice shade for a snack at the wind caves.

1 month 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

We did this hike Saturday afternoon. We were lucky that the weather was beautiful - not too hot! There were six of us (3 adults, 3 kids in good shape (9-11 years old). There were areas to get a break from the sun from boulder shadows. I would not recommend if you have difficulty getting around as some areas require a little boulder scrambling. We caught two catci in bloom and a few other desert plants but not that much in bloom. The oasis was great and we stopped and had a picnic snack. Tip: park at the camper area - free with paid admission. Parking at the visitor's center will add 3 miles RT to your hike in the sun.

1 month ago

Great workout. Bring plenty of water for this one!

1 month ago

A very fun and scenic hike. The wife and kids loved it. Enjoyed climbing over rocks, crossing streams and the oasis is breathtaking. Didn’t see any sheep but we made it to end by 8am. We where the only ones on trail then but did get crowded by 9am. I can’t wait to go back and hopefully witness the big horns.

nice caves and canyons. However, long washboard trail was punishing.

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

1 month 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.

We did this hike years ago & loved it...went again yesterday with friends visiting from Vancouver...great hike & we were lucky to get to see some big horn sheep grazing by the streams edge. Weather was perfect! Disappointed that the Oasis pool is now barricaded off from getting in the water but still an enjoyable experience :)

Did this as a day hike in windy conditions. The trail is mostly in good shape, only as it passes by Mt Wilson does it get a bit more ambiguous to follow, then completely peters out as the low desert comes into view. The scenery itself is reason enough to hike this trail, and by itself it is enjoyable as well.
Access to the trailhead is via a dirt/sand road barely the width of a pickup truck. Badly rutted, with a few minor boulder crossings. Tried both parts of the road, from Montezuma Valley road S-22 near the switchbacks leading down to Borrego Springs to the trailhead, and then out to S-22 via the other leg, for the final mile crossing over to Old Wilson Road which is in much better shape. I recommend only using the first leg, it is manageable for high clearance vehicles whereas towards Old WIlson Rd there are long ruts about 18" deep which are difficult to avoid. Also note the trailhead can only accommodate 2 vehicles for parking, however 1/4 mile West is a cluster of campsites with more room to park.

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

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.

1 month 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.

This is a wonderful hike, especially if you are looking for that Oasis out in the desert spot to enjoy! We hiked it in February and the weather was perfect! Starts in sand, rock and cactus and ends with palms, shade and water! We found it a very enjoyable hike!

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.......

1 month 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.

Very nice hike. Not one to speed through. Take the time to just stop & view the varied scenery & vistas. Alternative trail down is rocky & has enough uphill to make it interesting.

2 months ago

We did it! Despite my son being convinced we were going to die in the desert (eye roll). He's 11 and dramatic. My 8-year-old girl loved it. The walked through the slot until it opened up and then turned back to go through it again.

I highly recommend stopping by the Anza Borrego State Park Visitor's center to get more information on the area and peace of mind when checking on the road and wash conditions, especially if you aren't driving a 4WD.

This is a short hike, a few steps down over rocks. I did see Seniors (one 80+) doing the trail. People of all ages, shapes, and sizes were hiking this trail seemingly without a problem. The only hindrance would be if you needed a cane or something to assist with walking. Otherwise, you're good to go. Bring water, as always. But this was SO awesome because a lot of it was in the shade and there was a nice breeze.

off road driving
2 months ago

This is a nice intermediate trail for off-roading. A stock height vehicle may have trouble in a few spots due to large rocks and ruts in the trail, but we went through in a Jeep Wrangler with a 2.5' lift and 33' tires with no sweat. a few fun climbs, and close enough to a ledge to give an inexperienced passenger white knuckles. Fun little trail with cool slot canyons for hiking. I drove my Jeep into one of the slot trails and surprised my buddies waiting in their rigs when I drove out forward. :)
Once at the turn around sot near the mining ID sign there is a short hike up a hill to expose a great view of the Salton Sea.

great hike. easy to the homestead then some good Ole anza peak bagging to get ghost. Pretty easy route finding just watch out for cholla.

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