Anza-Borrego Desert: West Butte The Slot Loop
||6.5 mile, 4 hour (loop). moderate.
||380 - 1200 feet
||The S78 at mile 87 take the dirt road. Normally a 4x4 road but go as far as you can. Sometimes regular cars make is almost to the end.
A loop over West Butte and back through the Slot.
At the sign no dogs go uphill along the slot.
Follow an obvious path uphill, it is sometimes marked up to West Butte.
But there are some branches going left and right.
Uphill and keep right along the mountain.
At the West Butte and further on there is no obvious path.
A butte with numerous small "peaks".
Keep going north, downhill on an easy hike.
At point Photo 5 it gets more interesting, descending in a canyon with larger boulders.
Take your time finding the best route, there is often an easy and a hard way to go down.
After the boulder part there is another boulder canyon to the left.
But keep a bit to the right of this canyon on a way easier way down.
The tricky part of this hike is in the last 300 feet. Finding a way down the canyon,without a drop too high and steep to make it down.
We tried a couple of them and found a really easy one.
Not quite in the right direction but...
Now try to go more westerly, but you probably have to go north a bit further to get past the other canyons.
There are a couple of old markers still standing (we found 2).
They are in the right direction of the slot canyon.
At point Road 1 the road into the canyon at last.
Follow this road all the way to the canyon entrance.
At point Xing follow the road straight on. To the right is the one way road, marked The Dropoff. The Dropoff is a really scary drop that can only be driven from the direction of The Slot.
The road is really OK up to the Xing.
The Slot itself is different from year to year. The big arch from 2009 is gone and only the remains are visible on the ground.
This year 2010 the slot is even narrower but easy to navigate.
Close to the end scramble uphill and go downhill to the parking.
Hiking time 4 hours.
But the hike is harder because of the boulder climbing and going up and down some canyons.
There is no shade except in the Slot. So not something for a Summer day.
We did this hike in mid February 2010, temperature 78 Degrees.
Up high it was a bit windy, so the temperate was OK.
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