Last Days in Anza-Borrego

Borrego Springs, CA

After a seven day stay at the Palm Canyon Campground in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park we were not quite ready to leave the area.  So we moved back out to the nearby Clark Dry Lake area for a couple of nights dry camping.

Of course, one cannot spend an entire day in this place without at least a little hiking, so we drove about ten miles to the east for a short hike up the Palm Slot Canyon.  This was our very first hike in Anza Borrego two years ago, so a revisit was on Pam’s list.  If you have a high clearance vehicle, you can drive right to the entrance to the canyon.  If not, park in the small lot at the turn off the highway (by mm 38 on highway s-22) and you can hike the half mile down to the entrance.

The canyon begins with a nice hike along a flat wash.  It then enters a series of winding, narrow slots.

After about a half mile things become a bit more challenging if you want to keep going.  Rocks in the wash require a bit of “over” and “under” to proceed.

The “over” . . .

. . . and the “under”

What you climb up, you must climb back down

Our plan was to stay near Clark Dry Lake for two nights before heading south to El Centro.  But the weather forecast for Monday called for a good chance for rain that day so we decided to head out on Sunday afternoon.  We felt we needed to stretch our legs a bit before leaving so we decided to take a morning walk over to check out the nearby dry lake bed.  It looked to be just a short way from where we were parked, but distances can be deceiving in the desert as it turned out to be two miles away.  But the walk was worth the effort as it was very cool to see the dry, cracked lake bed covered with salt left from the evaporation of water.

“Snow” in Clark Dry Lake

In the afternoon we drove south 75 miles to a spot about 15 miles west of El Centro, CA.  We’ll be dry camping in the desert for a few nights before heading to Yuma.  We’re in El Centro to check out an agricultural tour on Tuesday.  Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

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32 Responses to Last Days in Anza-Borrego

  1. Lenore says:

    An agriculture tour DOES sound exciting to me. I always love being near farms, but never heard of a tour before. We’ll have to check that out in El Centro. Does the tour have a name. A company?

  2. debbiemc14 says:

    Love the slot canyon hiking as well as the dry bed. An ag tour does sound like fun. Crops or livestock? I can’t wait to get back into some real mountains.

  3. Sounds exciting to me! Looks like you had a terrific time in Borrego and got lots of exercise, I am envious!

  4. Next time back to Borrego Springs be sure to check out the slot canyon southeast of Borrego. A bit hard to find the road leading in off the highway to Ocotillo Wells but just ask at the Anza-Borrego Visitor Center or the Nature Center on the main street west of Carlee’s. This is one dandy of a slot canyon.

  5. My muscles ached every time I see you scrambling up or down, I guess Im envious. You certainly enjoyed your time at the desert. And that last pic of the snow in the desert looks great with the happy hiker.

  6. pmbweaver says:

    Wait just one cotton-pickin minute. The over looks waaaayyyy over! Then waaaayyyy down. I always start writing down your hikes but end up saying…We can’t do that. We love to hike but aren’t into just about killing ourselves. You two are way more nimble than we are!

    Can’t wait to see you two!

  7. frankeeg says:

    Ooooh I like that kind of hiking. Scrambling up over and down those rocks looks like fun. I assume the trail was marked in some way? We once went on a similar hike where the trail was marked with painted white circles. Somewhere along the way the paint had worn off and it was difficult to tell which was paint and which was natural blemishes on the rock.

  8. Hope your agricultural tour in El Centro goes better than our friend’s did in Yuma recently. Check out their post.

    • placestheygo says:

      That was quite a story. Glad your friends weren’t hurt. Our tour won’t be on a bus. It is a special program by the University of California. We do get on trams to go out to the field…hope they stay right side up!!

  9. Sherry says:

    I just love slot canyons of any kind and am willing to climb over/under/around or through to get to them. I’d have loved this one. Great pictures!

  10. Gay says:

    Love slot canyons and rock scrambling!
    And yes, your tour sounds like fun to me! Can’t wait to read about it…

  11. allisonmohr says:

    Are you coming to Tucson for RV work? Let us know!

  12. Jodee Gravel says:

    It’s a difficult place to leave, just so much fun stuff to see and do! A huge difference between that tight canyon and the wide open dry lake – love them both 🙂 Imperial County was part of my territory for a few years and I never knew they did ag tours, so I’m very curious.

    • placestheygo says:

      Yes, Jodee, it was very difficult to leave the beautiful desert but we hope to return very soon:)

      The farm program is run by the University of California. It sounds wonderful. We are headed there today!

  13. cathy says:

    Love slot canyons! I remember the first time we had to shimmy over rocks on a hike in Arches National Park, and we LOVED it!

  14. LuAnn says:

    This was the hike we did a few years ago as well. Great little slot canyon. Now I am heading over to your next post as I can’t wait to hear about the farm tour. 🙂

  15. rommel says:

    The road to or from Anza was so awesome. I love how empty the surroundings are. I also love that there are no major names in businesses there. Just completely locals. Thanks for yet another awesome hike. Anza Borrego offers so much of that, and you seemed to have scored some really great hike sceneries esp. of awesome rock formations. Next time I go there, I would definitely go for some hiking.

    • placestheygo says:

      There are lots of very neat hikes in the area, Rommel. It is most definitely a place to go for some slowing down, quiet time. Sorry you didn’t see any sheep when you were there.

  16. Laurel says:

    Very fun rock scrambling hike in the slot canyon! I remember that one from a few years ago — thanks for reminding me. It really does look like you’re standing in a snow-dusted field at Clark Dry Lake. Aren’t you happy you’re NOT? 🙂

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