Explore San Diego: Slot Canyon

Explore San Diego
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ANZA-BORREGO, Calif. – Deep in the desert where you least expect it lies an obstacle course not for the faint of heart.

Our story begins on state Route 78, on a lonely stretch of road accented with desert flowers. You’ll wonder if you’re going in the right direction until you see a non-descript sign marking the entrance to an adventure.

Slot Canyon in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is a hike very similar to another Explore San Diego story we brought you. Like the name suggests, this fissure on the floor is full of tight squeezes. The trail starts wide and then the walls slowly close in — so much so that in some areas light barely comes through as a sliver. In other areas the walls rise up so tall that a building could easily fit inside the desert crevasse. Along the way you’ll also find caves and random boulders perched precariously.

“It is really interesting to see all the rock formations,” said Joshua James Roley.

Roley and his father, Richard, drove from Chula Vista to check it out.

“You forget what’s in your backyard…it’s interesting to see the desert and see something other than what you see in the city all the time,” Richard Roley said.

The hike itself isn’t long; it’s less than half a mile. The hardest part is at the beginning — getting into the canyon, which looks scarier than it is.

“Yeah, it’s a little steep but if your legs work pretty good then you should be able to get in here no problem,” Roley said.

Adults and school-aged children could handle it, but probably not young kids. And dogs aren’t allowed. If you do go check it out, remember to bring water and wear sunblock. And it’s probably safer to bring a friend because after all, you are hiking in the desert.

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