Road Miles: 67.4
Trail Miles: 5.4
Partner Association: Anza-Borrego Foundation
Hit up the Slot first thing in the morning. This is the shortest of the 5 Hikes for 50 Years, but it was one of my favorites. The slot canyons are similar to what I imagine the famous Utah canyons to be like, but smaller, and much less crowded. I only saw 2 people! After the hike, I had to go back into Borrego Springs to pick up water, since I was short a gallon. From there, I drove out to the Calcite Mine trailhead.
Although the guide says the Mountain Palm Oasis is the most strenuous hike of the five, I think this one was, primarily because it was much warmer, and there is very little cover. Also, I started at noon, which I don’t recommend. An early start would be better. Also, sunglasses, which I did not have, are imperative because the sun glares off the almost white rock; I was feeling a little sun-blinded after awhile. But… an incredibly beautiful hike. OK, this probably ties the Slot for my favorite. There are great views of the Salton Sea, incredible rock formations, multi-colored cliffs, extensive views of the Badlands. just awesome. I only saw 2 other hikers on this trail as well, although I was passed by a jeep on the return, and met a couple of mountain bikers in the wash near the beginning.
Drove back to Borrego Springs and found the Anza-Borrego Foundation office. I interviewed Ashley, the Education Outreach Coordinator for the project. It was great that she was willing to talk to me and it was clear she is super excited about the Park and the Foundation. Picked up my 5 Hikes for 50 Years certificate – yay!
Hit up Carlee’s for lunch – their burgers are incredible, and they are super hiker-friendly. Re-supplied out of the Center Market, then drove by one of the flower fields on the north edge of town. The bloom was going, but it looked as though it hadn’t quite peaked yet. Ended up camping in the Palo Verde Wash on my way east toward the Salton Sea. Beautiful spot, and I had it completely to myself!