From hiking to beautiful desert palm oases, to squeezing through the amazing Slot Canyon, Anza-Borrego offers many wonderful adventures and rugged desert beauty. Over 600,000 acres in size, the park has numerous areas worth exploring, including: the Badlands, the fan palm oases, the desert floor, and the higher elevation areas (with oak and pine trees).
The Visitor Center in Borrego Springs is a good place to get oriented, view a pupfish pond, and purchase maps. The park is especially magical during spring when the wildflowers are blooming, and is breathtaking during super-blooms.
With over 100 miles of trails, some particularly notable hikes are: The Slot, Maidenhair Falls via Hellhole Canyon, Borrego Palm Canyon, the Pacific Crest Trail segment, and Calcite Mine Trail. Some trails require high clearance vehicles to reach, including Wind Caves, Pictograph Trail and Elephant Tree Nature Trail.
Numerous park campsites are available and reservations are highly recommended. At night, the star-gazing is phenomenal, while listening to the yipping of coyotes.
200 Palm Canyon Dr., Borrego Springs
California State Parks
Backpacking, Biking, Birdwatching, Camping, Hiking, Historic/Cultural Interest, Horseback Riding, Picnicking, Relaxing, Running, Viewing, Walking, Watchable Wildlife
Anza-Borrego is California’s largest state park. The badlands contain fossils from about 550 different plants and animals. There is an excellent GeoGem Report for Anza-Borrego which describes how the badlands were formed. Anza-Borrego is within the Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve.
There are helpful and comprehensive on-line plant guides, bird guides and wildlife guides for Anza Borrego. During spring, two particularly stunning, flowering plants are the red chuparosa and the yellow brittlebush.
An especially delightful description of a family adventure in Anza Borrego was published recently in the New York Times.
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