The Slot

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4.4/5 (10 reviews)
Borrego Springs, California (SanDiego County)
Last Updated: 10/21/2022

Trail Information


Desert Category Icon Desert
Iconic Category Icon Iconic
Overland Category Icon Overland
Sand Category Icon Sand
Scenic Category Icon Scenic
"The Slot" is a extremely narrow hiking trail in a sandstone canyon in the heart of Anza Borrego State Park. The off-road drive to The Slot is a very easy one with some soft sand and compact hard dirt. The road is safe to drive in a 2wd vehicle most of the year, but please note, when it comes to taking any dirt road, it is always best to travel in a group. Once you reach The Slot, you can hike from east to west down the canyon. The Slot starts out an openish area but quickly closes in. At points in the trail you will be trying to shimmy sideways just to continue on. Once to the bottom it opens up to a slot canyon just wide enough for a off-road vehicle. If you have an equipped vehicle and are with a group, driving around this end of the trail might make for a full day adventure. For most people, it is recommended that you go back out the way you came in. **Important Notice** It gets over 110 degrees at The Slot in the summer. Please bring lots of water and notify people where you are going. Also, this area is at high risk of flash flood. Only enter The Slot on sunny days.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

The Slot is a very narrow canyon in Anza Borrego that is fun to hike (Not a Off-Road Trail). The trail getting to the Slot is very easy but sandy in places. The sand can get deep at times but most 4x4's and 2wd vehicles should be able to make it. Inside the Slot Canyon is a very narrow mini-canyon that is at times only about a foot wide and about 200 feet tall. While inside don't forget to look up and see boulders suspended between the cliff walls or large mud/hill slides that are wedged above you. If you plan on driving to the west most end of the slot, please understand in doing so you are going to enter a one-way trail that requires about 20 additional miles of mild to hard trails to exit to asphalt. If you do plan on going this way, please be in a upgraded 4x4 and travel in a group.

Trail Reviews

4.4/5 (10)
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Visited: 08/21/2021

Road condition to the trailhead is great. 1 small patch of sand that you might not even notice since it's on a straight. Anything on wheels should be able to make it with little worry.
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Rated 5/5
Visited: 03/21/2021

Awesome place to visit while in Anza! The trail is easy going all the way through cause of the high traffic and gets just a little more fun past the parking lot for the Slot Hike but nothing any 4x4 can't handle. The hike is definitely a cool place to check out. Felt like Indiana Jones hiking through it
Trail Review: The Slot - Joe
Trail Review: The Slot - Joe
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Rated 3/5
Visited: 02/25/2021

Super easy trail. Great hike as long as you have water. There’s a few trails you can access from this trail that a fun as well.
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Rated 4/5
Visited: 11/26/2020

Very easy to get to the parking lot lots of cars had done it. But so many people the lot was full and people were parking along the road. We gave up on seeing the slot as getting past the people in the slot was a human trafic jam. We kept going and went down the drop and out the bottom. The drop is no joke steep sandy and partway down was a ledge about a foot high. Getting out the bottom does get narrow and has more ledges but it is all down hill so not to bad.
Rated 3/5
Visited: 11/03/2020

Can't really review as I didn't get a chance to walk the slot canyon. Wish someone said that dogs were not allowed! Was excited to visit but too many tourists there and tons of "no dogs allowed" signs. Had to pass on this. Just saying... don't come here with your best friend!

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