Anza Borrego
directions to get there

Anza Borrego windmills turbines
Anza Borrego directions: turbines along highway 8.

From San Diego, there are two ways to enter Anza Borrego:
    1. drive east on highway 8, then drive north on S2; or
    2. drive north towards Julian then drive east on highway 78.
Either way, it takes a little over 2 hours to get there. Detailed Anza Borrego directions below.

1. Enter via South Side of the Park

One way to get into the Anza Borrego Desert State Park is to drive east on highway 8 for about 80 miles. Turn north at Ocotillo and keep northbound on S2. The first camp site is Bow Willow, after that, there are two more "primitive" campsites. The S2 eventually meets up with highway 78.

From highway 78, you enter the park headquarters which has the Visitor Center, the main campground, and the nearby community of Borrego Springs. Alternatively, you can use highway 78 to drive back to San Diego via Julian (highway 79).

Be aware that the southern tip of Anza Borrego is very close to the Mexican border. At times, the Border Patrol may be present and request that you show identification. If you are a visitor from outside of the USA, be sure to have your visa, passport or other documentation to indicate your legal presence in the country.

Another noteworthy feature of this route is that near Campo, you will see huge turbines lining the side of highway 8. These high tech windmills are operated by the Kumeyaay Wind farm and can capture enough wind energy to power 30,000 homes.

directions to Anza Borrego
Moon over a ridge near Jacumba.
anza borrego directions
Click here to see map

2. Enter via West Side of the Park
The central section of Anza Borrego is most popular. Here you will find the Park Headquarters, the Visitor Center, the Palm Canyon Trail, and the village of Borrego Springs. To get here, enter the park from the west:
  • take highway 15 north;
  • highway 67 east through Poway;
  • highway 78 to Saint Ysabel,
  • then choose a route:
    • continue east on highway 78, then north on Yaqui Pass Rd.
    • go north on highway 79, east on San Felipe Rd, then east on Montezuma Valley Rd.

    Both options work, the former is more direct but the latter gets you there a bit faster.

directions to Anza Borrego
Spring flowers in front of a mountain range.
anza borrego directions
Click here to see map.

directions to Anza Borrego
Carrizo Badlands near south entrance of the Park
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