Tag Archives: desert

The Slot


Activity: Day Hike

2.5 miles, 300′ elevation gain, 1 hour duration, rated: Moderate

Date: 3-8-22

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is California’s largest State Park at almost 600,000 acres in the Eastern section of San Diego County. Anza-Borrego is a beautiful place filled with all sorts of formations of dirt, sand and rock.

One of the popular hikes in the park is known simply as “The Slot”. It is a tight, winding, short canyon hike. ‘The Slot’ is not far from Borrego Springs and is a couple miles of dirt off of the black top. Although it is 4×4 recommended, any car should make it to the trailhead. There is a $10 parking fee and when we were there last it was being regulated by the Park Service, and when the lot fills they turn people away.

My son Alec and I did the hike counter clockwise, but if we do it again I think that we will try it in the opposite direction, but either way is fine. It could be done as an out and back, but I recommend it as a loop. I always think that seeing something new is a bonus and in this case after you exit the tight canyon it opens up providing other desert views. The climb out on a dusty and steep Jeep Trail provids great views of the canyon and beyond. Super landscapes of open desert and far off mountains are yours to savor.

The hike down into the canyon is steep at first going, and there is a bit of a switch back to maneuver. The route winds through The Slot and there is a bit of a fat man’s squeeze as the walls close in. A tiny bit of scrambling must be traversed that is hardly worth mentioning, but it is all great fun.

A spire seems to have broken away from the wall falling forward forming an arch overhead. Someday it will come down, but for the time being it appears to be secure providing an interesting if not magical formation.

After we made our way through the canyon it opened up into a wash and we headed up the Jeep Trail to the left. We watched in awe some Off-Road Vehicles struggling on the steep incline not having any idea that in the not so distant future we would be joining some 4×4 friends and would take on the “Drop Off” at the Slot.

Thanks for squeezing through ‘The Slot’ with my son Alec and myself as we found ourselves ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ in this unique and fascinating section of Anza Borrego Desert State Park. There are more adventures in the Park ahead. To ensure that you don’t miss a single exciting outing please COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE. If you go up to the menu above you will discover that PBTA travels extensively throughout the West searching meaningful adventures. Each location or activity is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. It is important to find time to venture into Nature because it is a great place to unload the stresses and troubles of everyday life and our work a day world. Now that you are inspired to get off the couch, put down the TV clicker, your phone and enjoy Nature you will need Adventure Wear. I invite you to checkout my line at SHOP APPAREL.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Arroyo Tapiado Mud Caves


Activity: 4×4, Hiking, Spelunking

Date: 3-7-22

We took our 4 Runner TRD Pro to the mud caves. You might make it in a regular car, but then again you could bottom out on a rock, or get stuck in the soft sand. 

We checked out the first couple things that we saw, which were not the main event.  They were interesting but… We hiked up the hill a bit in a couple places. There were drop offs into a large vertical hole that we could not see a bottom from where we were. 

When my son Alec and I got to the actual cave it was a little disguised as it is not a large opening. Once we ducked inside it opened up and I was left with one word, “whoa…” I have to say although they were fascinating and very cool that this was the sketchiest cave, cavern, or mine I have ever been in as the whole place was made of what seemed to be the consistency of a dirt clod. 

It was crazy.  This cave of dried mud made twists and turns back and forth.  Some times there were places that the light shined in, but mostly you were in pitch darkness. Alec and I were well armed with a flashlight and a powerful head lamp so we had adequate illumination.  It was pretty spooky with cracks in the dirt walls, as well as places where chunks had crumbled off.  While we were deep inside this mud hill a helicopter flew over and we could hear it pretty well which was freaky me out making me realize this was a big hollow hill of dirt without a lot of density. There were spots that we would come out into the light and then back into this cavern of dirt. The passageway was quite long, and then we emerged snaking our way through a slot canyon of this dried mud, which also was very cool.  At the end of this arid mud maze we climbed up on top and enjoyed a great view of the badlands and distant mountains. 

We did not do the second mud cave which had a large opening. We thought we had done one, it was great fun, we loved it, but this one must be similar.  I decided that we had pushed our luck enough as it was.  My son and I were the only ones out there and the State Park Rangers warned us how unsafe this place was and that it was cordoned off. Unsafe I would agree, but it was not blocked off.  Probably just that it was not recommended is more like it. The Ranger, that we spoke to at the Visitor’s Center at Borrego Palms, continued trying to dissuade us by mentioning that if we got stuck that Triple A doesn’t come to Anza Borrego. 

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure YouTube Channel.
CLICK THE PIC for the video of inside the cave!
Afterwards we hunted for a spot to camp.
“Adventure: An undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks.”
-Merriam Webster

Thanks for joining Alec and I as we were discovering new places to be ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’.  Being in a cavern of dried mud is certainly a different place, yet we found it exciting and fascinating, a spot that you don’t know what is around the next bend.  Wondrous experiences in nature can certainly recharge one’s batteries and can make getting back to the world of school, and the pressures of making the grade more balanced which is so important.  This was a special time together that Alec and I spent Off-Roading, hiking and adventuring.  Wonderful Father and Son trek.  To aid you in finding your own Wondrous Experience in Nature please say tuned by this manner: LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW and SHARE.  Go to the menu above and you will see that PBTA travels extensively throughout the West on Adventure.  Each location or activity is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently.  SHOP APPAREL can fulfill your Adventure Wear needs with my line adorned with the ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ logo and mantra.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure