The deepest and narrowest part extends for about a quarter of a mile. The floor is U-shaped in profile, a mix of pebbles and bare rock, as the drainage cuts through angled strata, alternating between conglomerate and more homogenous layers. All the rocks are grey or pale brown, so the narrows are never very colorful. Two chokestones above dryfalls create more significant obstacles, but webbing and a short rope seems usually to be left in place, to assist when climbing up. Some sections have a few tight bends, where the way ahead is apparent only when close-up. An adit penetrates a little way into the cliffs, following a seam of calcite. Soon after this, a tributary on the left provides an easy exit route, leading to the open, gravelly slopes just east of the mine. Beyond the side ravine are a short conglomerate section and another dryfall, above which the canyon is rather less deep, though it continues a lot further, gaining elevation more steeply.
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Middle Fork of Palm Wash, South Branch
Borrego Springs Map
The Slot Canyon Borrego Springs
Slot Canyon Borrego Springs Ca
The track to Calcite Mine is very rough and parts are too rocky and rutted even for some 4WD vehicles so most people make the journey on foot. It is about a mile from the trailhead on S22 to the crossing of the Middle Fork, easily recognizable as the track descends quite steeply to the canyon floor, just below the lower end of the narrows. The rocks here are whitish grey and have the same form and texture as those in the main branch. The passageways are quite sinuous with tight curves and a floor of smooth rock, but this slot like section doesn't extend very far - beyond is a more open stretch then some shallower narrows that end beneath a dryfall. All can be explored in just 30 minutes, from the road.