Anza Borrego Desert State Park

Anza Borrego Desert State Park
Anza Borrego is the largest state park in California. It is 600,000 acres (2,400 km2) in size and includes 500 miles of dirt roads, 50 miles (180 km) of hiking trails, and 200 campsites.

This state park is a desert and regardless of how many beautiful photos you may see, you should always remember that it is a desert and should be treated as such. Always:

  • bring plenty of water (one gallon per person per day);
  • wear sturdy shoes, a hat, sunglasses, & sunscreen;
  • be familiar with the signs of heat exhaustion & dehydration.

The desert is at its best during the early morning hours and in the early evenings after sunset. During the day, the desert can be quite hot. In the summer from June to September, temperatures can reach 125°F. Hiking /camping is not recommended during these summer months unless you are familiar in such extreme conditions.

Anza Borrego Desert State Park
Young hikers walk towards
a palm oasis

Anza Borrego Desert State Park
Flowers of the Ocotillo plant (top).

Hikers, campers, and explorers should take care: always travel with a buddy, have maps, know where you are going, and be sure that your car is in good working order.

With these safety precautions in mind, the desert can be a peaceful, beautiful, and bountiful place. Colorful flowers bloom in early spring. Some are small and fragrant while others are large and showy.

You may also see a number of other living things in the desert:
  • beetles, ladybugs, butterflies, & bees;
  • lizards, frogs, & snakes;
  • rabbits, bighorn sheep, coyotes, mountain lions; and
  • over 300 species of birds.

Anza Borrego is named after the Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and the Spanish word "borrego" which means "bighorn sheep". The Peninsular Bighorn Sheep is endangered: there are 400 of them left in the USA and about 275 of them live in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park. Thus, your cooperation is needed to preserve the desert's natural beauty for the unique wildlife that live within, and for the enjoyment of future generations. Click to read more:

Anza Borrego bighorn sheep
Bighorn sheep.

Anza Borrego directions

Getting There: From San Diego, there are two ways to enter Anza Borrego: drive north towards Julian and enter the park from the west side. Or, drive east on highway 8, then enter the park from the south end. Read more...

Anza Borrego visitor center

Visitor Center: The Visitor Center is stocked with books, maps, and free publications which will help you explore the desert park. Speak to a Ranger to get up-to-date trail conditions or stroll in the Desert Garden... Read more...

camping Anza Borrego

Camping & Camp Sites: There are over 200 camp sites throughout the entire Park but reservations are recommended if you wish to ensure a site. Reservations can be made up to 7 months in advance and no later than 48 hours in advance. Read more...

Palm Canyon Trail

Palm Canyon Trail: Anza Borrego is expansive with many marked and unmarked trails. The most popular destinations is the Borrego Springs area which is near the Palm Canyon Trail and the Visitor's Center. Read more...

Mountain Palm spring Trails

Mountain Palm Springs Trails: The Bow Willow and Mountain Palm Spring area has numerous palm groves. You can see all six oases by hiking trough a 5 mile loop trail. Or, see one or two palm groves with a quick 15 minute walk. Read more...

Anza Borrego hiking Trails

More Hiking Trail: There are 20+ official hiking trails covering 50+ miles of trail. Trails can lead to palm oases, pictographs, morteros, slot canyons, or old ruins. Read more...

Anza Borrego flowers

Flowers in the Desert: during late February and early April, the desert is in bloom and thousands of visitors come to see them. Most flowers are small but some are showy and aromatic. Read more...

Anza Borrego bighorn sheep

Wildlife and More Amazing Photos: Though hard to see, the desert is teaming with life. From butterflies & bees, to lizards & frogs, and even mountain lions & bighorn sheep. See them here...

Anza Borrego books

Galleta Meadows: is definitely something you should look at if you are in the Borrego Springs area. Here, scattered along the grassy meadow, are life-size metal sculptures. You'll find birds of prey, elephants, dinosaurs, and more! Read more....

Anza Borrego books

Anza Borrego Books: There's too much information about this Desert Park to be covered in here. Grab a book and read up on it before you travel. It's the best way to get the most out of your trip. See Anza Borrego books...