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The Slot

Borrego Springs, California

based on 7 reviews



2.2 miles

Elevation Gain

266 ft

Route Type



Added by Jason Neitzke

The Slot is an amazing and short loop hike located in the Anza Borrego Desert.

Hiking The Slot

From the parking lot, you will take the trail into the canyon that is directly in front of you. This will be the hardest and steepest part of the hike. There are no trail markers for the Slot. You can take the trail to the right of the parking lot very briefly, but make sure or you don't go too far before looping back or you will miss the Slot. 

As you enter, the walls start to close in and you are taking your bag off to get through some tight passages. Every turn is exciting, it is constantly changing and you are not sure what is going to be around the next bend. The Slot is made of siltstone and is very brittle so watch your footing if you decide to climb around. At the end of the Slot you hit a dirt road, from there you can either turn around and go back through or follow the road and find some other trails. Further down the road there are some awesome wind caves and arches that are worth checking out.

Getting There

Drive east on Hwy 78, and about a mile and a half after Borrego Springs Road, turn left onto Buttes Pass Road. Buttes Pass road is a dirt road and not marked well so look carefully. The road is pretty smooth, about a mile in you will take a left at the fork. From there, you will drive about another mile to a parking lot. Two wheel drive vehicles should be fine unless there was a recent rainstorm.

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The Slot Reviews

This spot is definitely such a favorite of mine that anytime I’m even driving close to here I will go out and find it. Good for all times of the day.

The sign says trailers not advised but it was fine with our off road trailer. The parking lot at the end is large enough for longer vans etc to turn around. And there are pit toilets. The trail is hard to find — head to the right of the parking lot and walk up the hill between the two boulders to find it. Don’t hike down the eroding cliff to the left. Great for kids, my 10 year old really enjoyed it.


From 78 East, turn left on Buttes Pass. Keep an eye out. You may see other cars turning in, but it is a small brown sign. We got there about 4 pm. The rocky, dirt road to the Slot is about a mile from the 78 road. You do not need a 4x4 or SUV. You can drive with a compact car. It was a bit bumpy for us. There is a sign that says No Dogs allowed. You can go down the left of that sign. Once you reach the bottom, go left and it won't be long until you hit the slot canyon! Beautiful God's creation! It is a must see and picturesque. If it is too steep for you, you can go up the path to the right of the sign and go to the ledge (take pics) and then work your way down. We stopped at the end of the slot canyon and turned back around the same way to the parking lot. You can keep going passed the slot canyon. I read it leads to other trails. We did not want to do that.

Beautiful sandstone slot canyon. It gets tight in areas. Went of the main trail a bit and did some climbing up! So much fun

This is a really fun hike. The slot is a little tight in spots but doable by most people. We like to hike out into cliffs beyond the slots for great views of the area.

This was an entertaining hike. It makes you feel like a kid again. It's a unique experience and a worth while diversion.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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