During a trip to San Diego in late May of 2012 for other purposes, I found that one of my afternoons was going to be free.  Thus, while most visitors to San Diego would have headed to the beach, Daria and I took advantage of this opportunity and headed to Anza-Borrego State Park.  I had heard some good things about the park from fellow Death Valley hikers and thus we decided to check it out for ourselves.  It only took us about 2 hours of driving time from San Diego to reach the park.  The directions to reach our hiking destination (The Slot) were simple-- we simply drove east on Hwy 78 until we passed Borrego Springs Road.  Then, about 1 1/2 miles later, we turned to the left onto Buttes Pass Road, which was mostly smooth dirt.  One mile in, we turned left at a major junction and a short time later we arrived at the parking area for The Slot.  Daria and I headed carefully down into the canyon wash from the parking area, taking it one step at a time.  (What normally is easy hiking turns into very conservative safety-first hiking when your wife is 6 months pregnant.)  Once we were in The Slot, we headed down canyon.  It wasn't long before the walls closed in on us and we were enjoying walking sideways through dark narrow passages.  The Slot of Anza-Borrego is very similar to hikes in Death Valley such as Sidewinder Canyon, Mormon Point Canyon, and Funeral Slot Canyon.  After spending about 1/2 mile or so walking through some very enclosed narrows, we emerged into a more open canyon with a road passing through it.  We continued down the road to check out the Wind Caves and small arches in the area.  Then, we hiked back up canyon and returned to our vehicle just as the sun was setting.  During our hike (which was on a Sunday late afternoon), we passed only two other groups.  Keep in mind that Daria loves going to the beach, especially in Southern California.  So it was a huge sacrifice for her to spend the afternoon hiking The Slot.  But in the end, she said, "it was worth it!"  We both had a great time on this short hike.  Someday I would like to return to hike the Middle and South Forks of Palm Wash, which are also supposed to be fantastic slot canyons in the park.
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Overview of The Slot from near the head of the canyon at the parking area:
After carefully dropping down into the wash, we  began following the well-traveled path:
The canyon was narrow from the start, although the walls were not that dramatic just yet:
Beautiful lighting for pictures in the late afternoon sun:
As noted earlier, The Slot is a bit similar to Sidewinder Cyn, Mormon Point Cyn, and Funeral Slot Cyn in Death Valley, although the colors are darker:
Most of the time, the walls were close enough to touch with both hands:
Around the next bend, the canyon closed in even more to form dramatic narrows:
As seen behind Daria, the walls are touching in several spots, forming a tunnel-like passage to walk through:
Walking though a dark passage of narrows:
Sunlight shining into the canyon just beyond this passage:
Looking high above and out of the narrows through the small opening:
Some parts of The Slot require turning sideways in order to get through:
It is quite scenic and beautiful through The Slot:
It doesn't get much narrower than this small passage between the canyon walls:
Daria working her way through a pretty section of The Slot:
The next four pictures show more of the spectacular narrows found in the mid-section of The Slot:
A close-up of the canyon walls reveal a smooth texture of soft grey rock:
We could never see very far ahead as we were hiking:
Enjoy the next eleven pictures which show us progressing farther through The Slot.  While hiking through here, we only passed two other groups.  Take particular note of the height of the walls and extreme closeness of the two sides of the canyon:
A massive boulder has rolled into the canyon here and become wedged halfway down, creating a short tunnel:
Spectacular curves in the canyon:
Afternoon sunlight contrasting with the dark shadows in the canyon:
Ducking our heads to get under a narrow opening above:
One of the wider spots while walking through the narrows:
It's probably beautiful through here all the time, but good lighting is one of the keys to great pictures, knowing the best time of day to hike:
Up ahead, high above the canyon, we could see The Slot's most famous landmark:
This arch, or natural bridge, is the most photographed spot in The Slot:
Two more pictures showing the bridge glowing in the sun above the dark slot below:
Beyond the arch, the narrows continue for a short time:
And then the canyon begins to open up a little bit more:
Evidence of water flow creating dripping mud on the walls:
The first bush appears in the canyon, as it is finally wide enough for something to grow:
A short time later, we reached the end of the road, which is a 4WD track coming in from the other side:
The road winds through the lower canyon, much like Echo Canyon does in Death Valley:
Beautiful red colored cliffs seen in the next two pictures:
About a half of mile down the road, we reached the area known as the Wind Caves:
Similar wind blown rocks and formations can be found in some areas of Death Valley:
Notice how the wind has formed dramatic arches and holes in the landscape:
Looking through a hole at a distant ridge:
An arch up high on the hillside:
Daria relaxing in one of the natural Wind Caves found in this area:
Looking down through another hole:
Wind Caves are very spread out and numerous in this area:
Ocotillo cactuses are seemingly the most common found in Anza-Borrego.  At least that was what we noticed during our drive and hike:
Close-up of an Ocotillo cactus base:
Two pictures of Steve as we hiked back up The Slot to our vehicle: