Sandstone Canyon Trail

Total Miles


487.62 ft


2 Hours

Technical Rating



Best Time

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Trail Overview

Sandstone Canyon Trail is a 3.4-mile out-and-back trail rated 3 out of 10 located within the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The trail provides the unique opportunity to drive in one of the only slot canyons in the park. The trailhead is located in Fish Creek Wash. The wash consists of sandy wash and crushed dirt. The canyon walls are made of sandstone and tower above roughly 50 to 75 feet. Much of the wash allows for two-way traffic, but there are sections where the canyon narrows. Visitors should allow outbound traffic the right-of-way. At the 1.7-mile point, the park service has posted a closure to vehicle traffic. Hiking an additional mile up the canyon is allowed. This is a slot canyon and the trail can change due to several factors. Rains can cause erosion of the cliff line along the base of the canyon. Earthquakes compounded with natural erosion cause the sandstone walls to collapse. Besides the section of narrow canyon, there have been two major wall collapses over the years which have created squeezes. Both are wide enough for a full-size pick-up to navigate with care. All canyons and washes in the area are subject to flash floods. Travelers should watch the weather reports for the mountains to the west. There is no cell phone service within the canyon. The nearest services are located in Borrego Springs to the northwest and Salton City to the northeast. Offroad travel within the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is restricted to street-legal vehicles only.


The trail consists of loose rocks, dirt, and sand with some slick rock surfaces and mud holes possible. No steps are higher than 12 inches. 4WD may be required, and aggressive tires are a plus.


Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is a California State Park located within the Colorado Desert of southern California, United States. The park takes its name from 18th-century Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and the Spanish word borrego which literally means "lamb" but is also used to describe the desert bighorn sheep. With nearly 600,000 acres, it is the largest state park in California as well as the 48 contiguous states. The park has a varied topography that includes dry lake beds, badlands, and mountains that rise above 5,500 feet (1,675 meters). Two-thirds of the park's area is designated as wilderness, and cactus, yucca, and ocotillo are abundant throughout. Among the park's attractions are groves of California fan palms and a profusion of wildflowers that bloom in mid-to-late winter. Deer, kit foxes, iguanas, rattlesnakes, roadrunners, eagles, and the endangered desert bighorn sheep are all found within the park.

Technical Rating


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