#21 of 90 state parks in California

Best Trails in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

4,775 Reviews
Want to find the best trails in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park for an adventurous hike or a family trip? AllTrails has 89 great hiking trails, biking trails, running trails and more. Enjoy hand-curated trail maps, along with reviews and photos from nature lovers like you. Ready for your next hike or bike ride? Explore one of 22 easy hiking trails in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park that are great for the whole family. Looking for a more strenuous hike? We've got you covered, with trails ranging from 2 to 1,885 meters in elevation gain. Whatever you have planned for the day, you can find the perfect trail for your next trip to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
Description

This beautiful state park offers hundreds of miles of dirt roads, and many hiking trails, offering incredible views of the California desert. The park is California's largest park, and popular with San Diegans. Wildlife lovers will have a chance to see roadrunners, golden eagles, kit foxes, mule deer, and big horn sheep in this incredible landscape. You'll also have the chance to see many varieties of wildflowers.

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Map of trails in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California
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Park information
Area:
242,811 hectares
Park hours
Monday
dawn - dusk
Tuesday
dawn - dusk
Wednesday
dawn - dusk
Thursday
dawn - dusk
Friday
dawn - dusk
Saturday
dawn - dusk
Sunday
dawn - dusk
Contact
760-767-5311
Helpful links
Top trails (89)
The Slot
#1 - The Slot
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1043)
Length: 3.7 km • Est. 1h 8m
The parking lot here can get closed off when it is full and there is a long line of waiting cars so try to arrive early. There is a $10 fee for entry. Slot Canyon is an unmaintained trail off a sand road and far from most visitor traffic. Flash floods formed the breathtaking slot canyon. At points, forty-foot high walls arch above a foot-wide canyon floor.Show more
Goat Canyon Trestle Bridge via Mortero Palms
#2 - Goat Canyon Trestle Bridge via Mortero Palms
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(359)
Length: 9.3 km • Est. 3h 58m
It's recommended that trial users download the maps in advance, as the route can be poorly marked in some areas and you may lose signal. There is a lot of rock scrambling along the way. The trail starts out as steep but eventually levels out and drops into a canyon. This hike is not recommended for beginners and is rated as difficult. Show more
Fonts Point
#3 - Fonts Point
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(234)
Length: 12.7 km
A must-see. Easy, short sand wash that ends overlooking badlands. View is spectacular, especially at sunset. Wouldn't recommend this for 2wd vehicles as it's very easy to get bogged down in the soft sand, however, some people do take them. OHV’s are not allowed in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, all vehicles must be highway legal.Show more
Sandstone Canyon via Fish Creek Wash
#4 - Sandstone Canyon via Fish Creek Wash
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(175)
Length: 46.7 km
OHV’s are not allowed in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, all vehicles must be highway legal.Show more
Calcite Mine Trail
#5 - Calcite Mine Trail
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(235)
Length: 6.0 km • Est. 1h 57m
Calcite Mine is just under 4 miles long and located near Borrego Springs, California. The trail is great for hiking and normally takes 2-3 hours. You start off on the rough jeep trail down to a wash where you have the option to traverse through a slot canyon. Once to the mine area, you can explore various rock formations and hike up to the tiptop for a fantastic view of the Salton Sea and the surrounding badlands. On the way back, start out on the jeep track again and then venture the other way down the narrow canyon to meet back up with the original trail. The route is also open to vehicles. OHV’s are not allowed in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, all vehicles must be highway legal.Show more
Pictograph Trail
#6 - Pictograph Trail
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(153)
Length: 4.2 km • Est. 1h 20m
West Butte, Wind Caves, Slot Loop Trail
#7 - West Butte, Wind Caves, Slot Loop Trail
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(161)
Length: 7.2 km • Est. 2h 16m
There is lots of variety here, from the sweeping views at West Butte to the interesting way the wind has carved the rock at the 'Wind Caves' and then the tight winding canyons shaped by rushing water. The hike isn't particularly strenuous but to avoid the steep ascent you may want go clockwise. Also, the trail is easier to follow if you go counter-clockwise. There are many side canyons to explore but beware that navigating them can be difficult and confusing if you leave the main washes. It is highly recommended to download an offline map for the area as there is no cell service and route finding can be very difficult. Show more
Wind Caves Trail
#8 - Wind Caves Trail
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(139)
Length: 1.4 km • Est. 32m
Laguna Mountain Ridge via the PCT
#9 - Laguna Mountain Ridge via the PCT
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(86)
Length: 26.7 km • Est. 8h 10m
This section of the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs from Mexico to Canada, offers expansive views of the desert to the east. The trail runs parallel to the Sunrise Highway for 16 miles with some beautiful scenery. Trail head option starts at Burnt Rancheria or Mt. Laguna Lodge at 6000 ft elevation. The trail passes through Monument peak and Garnet peak.Show more
Whale Peak
#10 - Whale Peak
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(96)
Length: 14.2 km • Est. 4h 58m
Users have suggested to not attempt to drive this far unless you have a 4wd truck. There is an alternative parking spot off of S2 which will result in a 14-mile hike instead. The dirt road to the trailhead is pretty gnarly and you will probably want some vehicle clearance. Googling or using the app for driving directions to the trailhead may bring you to the wrong place. You need to take the first dirt road you pass off of S2 coming from Scissors Crossing, not the second one as Google would have you take (the only sign is about horse crossing). Once in the dirt lot, you will see a sign for Pinyon Mt. The trail is really well marked.Show more
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