Right now, as the threat of another winter storm looms (it’s only November!), you’re probably looking for an opportunity to get out of town and into some warm weather. Enter Anza Borrego Desert State Park. Located in Borrego Springs, California, this park is 916 square miles. As the largest desert park in America, Anza Borrego features a wide range of ecosystems for you to explore.
Note: The park limits travel trailer to 35′ in length and campers to 35′ in length.
Dusk to Dawn
Prepare for Desert Activities at Anza Borrego Desert State Park:
Bring along plenty of water that you sip while hiking. Don’t save it all for the end, as you could already be dehydrated by then.
Visitor’s Center – Anza Borrego Desert State Park
Before hitting the park, be sure to stop by the visitor’s center. They’ve got a ton of informational exhibits that teach you about the biosphere, wildlife, flora and fauna, and even feature an award winning 15-minute film called A Year in the Desert.
Desert Garden– Anza Borrego Desert State Park
Just outside of the visitor’s center you’ll find a huge garden that features many of the plants you’ll find in the desert. It even boasts a pupfish pond. These unique fish evolved from conditions during the ice age and can actually thrive in fresh water or water nearly as salty as the sea and temperatures close to freezing or up to 108 degrees. When water evaporates these fish burrow into the mud to survive.
Pacific Crest Trail– Anza Borrego Desert State Park
Comprised of 2,650 miles of trails that span from Mexico up the pacific north west. It passes through 5 California state parks Castle Crags and McArthur-Burney Falls in Northern California; and Silverwood Lake, Anza Borrego Desert and Mt San Jacinto in Southern California. The Visitor’s Center is built into the side of a hill, so it’s mostly underground. If you’re looking for great hiking you’ll love this trail.
Wildflowers– Anza Borrego Desert State Park
If you enjoy looking at wildflowers you’ll love the variety at this state park. They typically start blooming February through March, depending on the amount of precipitation they’ve received. From red chuparosa and the yellow brittlebush to pink sand verbena you’ll love the vibrant colors and gorgeous photo opportunities.
Photo credit: By Stickpen (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons