Slot Canyon in the California Desert (Palm Slot)

Right here in Southern California backyard, you can enjoy a Utah-esque slot canyon. Palm Slot Canyon is located in the eastern part of Anza Borrego Desert State Park.

Lost Palm Canyon


where: from the town of Borrego Springs near the visitor center, drive pass the “christmas circle” and continue straight onto hwy S22 toward Salton Sea. After 15 minutes or so of driving, you will see a dirt parking area for Calcite Mine on your left. The parking has an obvious information post about the mine. Please ask for a map from the visitor so you don’t get lost.

This is an approximate GPS coordinate, please don’t rely on this entirely: 33° 16.865′, -116° 5.792′

trail: this mostly flat walk is doable for people of all physical ability. There’s an initial steep drop into the canyon but 99% of the trail has no elevation gain.

Once walk down into the canyon, looking straight you will see a trail climbing backup on the other side of the canyon, and there should also be a sign that says “Calcite Mine”. That trail will take you to Calcine Mine.

To get to Palm Canyon, turn left and walk down the wide canyon. There’s no turn. You will just walk straight for half a mile before you reach a more narrow section of the canyon. There should also be two posts that says “no vehicle”.

Enter the canyon, and you will immediately see a natural bridge over the canyon. Continue more a mile and you will reach the most narrow section of the canyon. This hike can be as long and as short as you want.

Keep an eye out for cracks on the sides of the canyon as you walk because by doing some exploring of the side canyons can be very rewarding. Opening cracks will mostly lead you up dried waterways which water have carved the rocks and give them stunning features. Please be careful while exploring the canyons as they are not often visited by people and require some scrambling and climbing.

You can walk and wander as long as you want. Overall, tbe canyon is very safe and very hard to get lost. It’s a one-way canyon with no confusing splits. Once you are ready to head out, just walk back tbe same way.

The initial hike in the canyon is very expose and hot.

Exploring some side canyon

I promise she was on leash most of the time.
The narrow part of the canyon
Almost like what you will see in Utah
View from above


  1. You mention it is an easy hike in the beginning of your post, but you say, “Please be careful while exploring the canyons as they are not often visited by people and require some scrambling and climbing.” Just wondering which description is more accurate? Thank you!

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