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Anza Borrego desert park

21 Things To Do At the Bizarre Anza Borrego Springs

Have you ever been to the magnificent Anza Borrego Springs? If not, you’re missing out!

This is a place where nature has taken over and created some of the most bizarre landscapes that you’ll ever see.

From towering sand dunes to colorful cacti, Anza-Borrego springs is a must-see for any nature lover.

The town of Borrego Springs is home to some quirky attractions and a variety of plant and animal species, including the endangered desert bighorn sheep that are definitely worth checking out

So if you’re looking for an adventure, here are 21 things to do at the Anza Borrego Springs. Enjoy!

Why Is It Called Borrego Springs?

The name derives from its historic roots, which date back to the Spaniard Juan Bautista de Anza, who discovered the first land route to California while through the park. Borrego, which translates to “lamb,” depicts the endangered Peninsula bighorn sheep.

Is Anza-Borrego and Borrego Springs the Same Place?

Borrego Springs, population 3,429., is right in the center of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. It’s the only California town totally enclosed by a state park, and that’s just one of its many boasting rights. It’s also the first and only International Dark Sky Community in California, committed to safeguarding the night sky from light pollution.

Here Are a Few Fun Facts About Anza-Borrego Springs:

  • Borrego springs are named after Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza.
  • The springs are located in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, which is the largest state park in California Approximately 600,000 acres in size.
  • Anza-Borrego Desert State Park encompasses the following counties: San Diego, Riverside, and Imperial.
  • Some of the rocks identified in the park date back 470 million years.
  • Borrego springs are fed by the San Felipe Creek, which is one of the longest waterways in the state.

Things to Do at Anza Borrego Springs 

1. Venture Through Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Anza Borrego Springs

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is one of the largest state parks in California. Spanning more than 600,000 acres.

The park is known for its vibrant desert landscapes, which come to life in springtime with wildflowers blooming.

hidden away on California’s southeastern corner Approximately 25 miles east to west and 50 miles north to south.

You can explore the park’s towering mountains, canyons, and sand dunes, or take a dip in one of its many hot springs. There are also many hiking and biking trails that wind through the park. 

The park’s geography is diverse, including dried lake beds, badlands, and mountains rising over 5,500 feet.

Whether you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life or simply enjoy some time outdoors, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is a must-visit for any nature lover.

2. Explore the Enormous Metal Sculptures at Galleta Meadows

Galleta Meadows

Deep in the heart of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, just off Highway S22, lies a truly unique sight: Galleta Meadows. 

This remote location is home to an array of towering metal sculptures, each one more fascinating than the last. 

Dennis Avery, of the well-known “Avery” office supplies, envisioned free-standing art on his land and commissioned Ricardo Breceda to construct a “creature desert” for everybody to enjoy.

The enormous sculptures range in size and subject matter, from a skeletal dragon to a massive Tyrannosaurus Rex. 

You can explore the sculpture garden at your own pace, marveling at the creativity and skill on display. With the desert landscape as a backdrop, Galleta Meadows is an unforgettable experience for all who visit.

3. Enjoy the Wildflower Super Bloom

Wildflower Super Bloom

If you’re looking for a breathtaking display of natural beauty, look no further than the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in southern California. 

Every year, this arid region experiences a phenomenon known as the “super bloom,” when wildflowers carpet the landscape in a riot of color. 

This year’s bloom is expected to be one of the best in recent memory, so be sure to add it to your list of must-see attractions. 

You can drive through the park to see the flowers up close, or hike through one of the many trails for a more immersive experience. 

Whether you’re a nature lover or just appreciate a beautiful sight, the Anza-Borrego Desert super bloom is sure to delight.

4. Visit Fonts Point for Panoramic Views of the Desert Below

Fonts Point Anza Borrego

For breathtaking views of the desert landscape, there’s no better place to visit than Fonts Point. 

Located in Anza Borrego Springs, this overlook provides panoramic views of the valleys and mountains below. 

While there, go up the hill for the greatest panoramic views of Anza-Borrego State Park. The Borrego Badlands, Vallecito Mountains, Borrego Valley, Borrego Springs’ oasis, Peninsular Range, Borrego Buttes, and Pinyon Mountains can all be seen from the hill.

All of these sites work together to create an amazing spectacle.

Whether you’re watching the sunrise or sunset, the view is sure to take your breath away. And on clear nights, you can even see the stars twinkling in the sky.

If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, be sure to add Fonts Point to your list of must-see places.

5. Take a Scenic Drive Down S22 Through the Badlands

the Borrego-Salton Seaway

S22, also known as the Borrego-Salton Seaway, is a Scenic Highway that runs through the badlands of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in California. 

The route offers stunning views of unique geological formations made up of eroded hills and canyons. 

You can also spot native plants and animals, such as golden eagles, roadrunners, kit foxes, and the desert bighorn sheep

The road is open year-round, but the best time to visit is during the spring when the wildflowers are in bloom. 

Whether you’re a nature lover or just looking for a relaxing drive, S22 through the badlands at Anza Borrego springs is definitely worth a visit.

6. Drive Out to Ocotillo Wells for Some Off-road Fun

 Ocotillo Wells

Looking for some high-octane adventure? 

Then head out to Ocotillo Wells in Anza Borrego Springs, where you can explore miles of off-road trails. 

Located in the heart of the desert, This popular destination is a haven for ATV and dirt bike enthusiasts. And with its deep sand washes and rocky terrain, it’s easy to see why. 

Ocotillo Wells has about 80,000 acres of the beautiful desert for off-road exploration and leisure, as well as a 4X4 training facility.

The rangers and employees at Ocotillo Wells are committed to providing a safe and pleasurable desert riding environment, and ensuring that a quality experience is preserved for future generations.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, there’s something for everyone at Ocotillo Wells. So gas up your vehicle and get ready for some fun!

7. Go Stargazing to Enjoy the Nighttime Marvels

Stargazing at Anza Borrego

There’s nothing quite like a night under the stars. 

Away from the city lights, you can see the Milky Way stretching across the sky. And at Anza Borrego springs, you can experience this natural wonder up close. 

Situated in the heart of the California desert, Anza Borrego is one of the best places in the world for stargazing. 

There’s very little light pollution, so you can see constellations and planets with the naked eye. And on a clear night, you might even be able to see the Andromeda Galaxy. 

So if you’re looking for a unique way to spend an evening, head to Anza Borrego springs for an unforgettable night under the stars.

8. Shop at Borrego Springs Farmers Market

The Borrego Springs Farmers Market

The Borrego Springs Farmers Market is the perfect place to find locally grown produce, fresh flowers, and handcrafted goods.

Located in the heart of downtown Borrego Springs, the market is open every Saturday from 8 am to 12 pm. At the market, you’ll find a variety of vendors selling everything from fruits and vegetables to artisanal bread and cheeses.

There’s also a wide selection of handmade gifts and home decor items. Whether you’re looking for a unique souvenir or just want to stock up on fresh groceries, the Borrego Springs Farmers Market is definitely worth a visit!

9. Check Out the Borrego Art Institute

The Borrego Art Institute

The Borrego Art Institute is a must-see for any art lover visiting Anza Borrego Springs. 

Nestled in the heart of the desert, the Institute is home to a stunning collection of contemporary art, including works by local and global artists. 

The permanent collection features both traditional and innovative pieces, making it a perfect place to explore the intersection of art and nature. 

In addition to the permanent collection, the Institute also hosts rotating exhibitions, educational programs, and community events. 

Whether you’re a budding artist or an art aficionado, a visit to the Borrego Art Institute is sure to inspire.

Best Hiking Spots at Anza Borrego Springs  

10. Wind Caves Trail 

Wind Caves Trail 

A hike through the Wind Caves Trail at Anza Borrego is an amazing experience. 

The trail takes you through a landscape of unique rock formations, desert plants, and stunning views. The best time to hike the trail is in the early morning when the air is cool and the sun is just starting to rise. 

The first part of the hike is relatively easy, but it gets more challenging as you ascend into the mountains. 

As you hike higher, the views become more incredible, and you may even catch a glimpse of camels or bighorn sheep. 

Once you reach the top of the trail, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the desert before heading back down. 

The Wind Caves Trail is well worth a visit, whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner.

11. Slot Canyon Trail

Slot Canyon Trail

The Slot Canyon Trail in Anza Borrego is one of California’s most extraordinary hiking experiences. 

The trail takes you through a narrow canyon that has been carved out by wind and water over millions of years. 

The walls of the canyon are covered with colorful rocks and fossils, and the views from the top are truly breathtaking. 

Although the hike is only about two miles long, it can be challenging at times. However, the sense of accomplishment you feel when you reach the end is well worth the effort. 

Whether you are a seasoned hiker or a beginner, the Slot Canyon Trail at Anza Borrego is an experience you will never forget.

12. Palm Bowl Grove

Palm Bowl Grove

The Palm Bowl Grove at Anza Borrego is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the park. 

The trailhead is located just off of Highway 78, and the hike itself is only about a mile long. 

However, the Palm Bowl Grove is home to some of the tallest palm trees in the world, and the views from the top are truly breathtaking. 

The trail itself is relatively level and easy to follow, making it perfect for families or groups with diverse hiking experiences. 

In addition, there are several benches along the trail where hikers can take a break and enjoy the scenery. 

The Palm Bowl Grove is definitely worth a visit.

13. Calcite Mine Trail

Calcite Mine Trail

Hiking the Calcite Mine trail is a great way to experience the best of what Anza Borrego has to offer. 

The trailhead is easily accessible from the parking area, and the trail itself is well-marked and easy to follow. Best of all, the trail provides spectacular views of the desert landscape. 

The first part of the trail winds through a canyon, providing hikers with shade and shelter from the sun. 

The second part of the trail climbs up to the summit of a small hill, where hikers are rewarded with panoramic views of the desert floor. 

After taking in the views, you can return the way they came, or explore one of the many side trails that lead off from the main trail. Either way, hiking the Calcite Mine trail is sure to be a highlight of any visit to Anza Borrego.

Developed Campgrounds

14. Borrego Palm Canyon Campground

Borrego Palm Canyon Campground

Location: Borrego Palm Canyon

Borrego Palm Canyon Campground is the perfect place to camp if you’re looking to get away from it all and experience the beauty of nature. 

the campground is surrounded by stunning desert scenery. There are plenty of hiking and biking trails to explore, and you might even spot some wildlife. 

The campground offers both RV and tent camping sites, as well as a variety of amenities, such as bathrooms, showers, and a dump station. 

Best of all, the campground is open year-round, so you can enjoy the desert no matter what time of year it is. 

Borrego Palm Canyon Campground is the perfect place to camp if you’re looking to get away from it all and experience the beauty of nature.

15. Tamarisk Grove Campground

Tamarisk Grove Campground

Location: Tamarisk Grove

Tamarisk Grove Campground is the perfect place to set up basecamp for your Anza Borrego adventure. 

The campground offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, as well as easy access to all of the area’s attractions. 

Best of all, it’s just a short drive from the town of Borrego Springs, where you can find all the supplies you need for a comfortable camping trip. 

So if you’re looking for a great place to camp in Anza Borrego, be sure to check out Tamarisk Grove Campground.

16. Vern Whitaker Horse Campground

Vern Whitaker Horse Campground

Location: Vern Whitaker Horse Camp

Vern Whitaker Horse Campground at Anza Borrego is the perfect place to go camping if you love horses! 

The campground has plenty of room for your horse to roam, and there are also some great trails nearby that are perfect for exploring on horseback.

In addition, the campground offers amenities like water and electricity hookups, as well as a dump station. 

So, if you’re looking for a great place to camp with your horse, be sure to check out Vern Whitaker Horse Campground at Anza Borrego. You won’t be disappointed!

17. Bow Willow Campground

Bow Willow Campground

Location: Bow Willow

One of the best ways to experience all that Anza Borrego has to offer is by camping at Bow Willow Campground.

This beautiful spot is nestled among palm trees and offers stunning views of the desert landscape. 

When night falls, you can sit around the campfire and enjoy the clear desert sky. 

Bow Willow Campground is the perfect place to pitch your tent and explore all that Anza Borrego has to offer.

Primitive Campgrounds

Anza Borrego Primitive Campgrounds

18. Culp Valley Primitive Campground

Culp Valley Primitive Campground, located at 3,500 feet in the San Ysidro Mountains, has the highest elevation of any Anza Borrego campground.

Windy Boulders, named for the constant winds that blow through Culp Valley, is a popular climbing spot just over the S22 from the campsite. Culp Valley Trail, a short half-mile stroll from the campsite, leads to a viewpoint of Borrego Valley. 

19. Blair Valley Primitive Campground

The campsite has scattered camping and one vaulted toilet. The trailhead for a 1.8-mile out-and-back route that finishes at rocks where ancient Kumeyaay Indians carved pictographs thousands of years ago is located further south and east on the road.

20. Arroyo Salado Primitive Campground

There are just a few vault toilets and no regular campsites or fire rings, so you’ll need to bring your own fire pit if you want to have a campfire. If you don’t have a reservation at one of the built campgrounds but prefer the idea of having a bathroom nearby, this is an excellent area to stay.   

21. Fish Creek Primitive Campground

The Fish Creek Primitive Campground is an excellent location for exploring the neighboring Split Mountain Gorge, the Anza Borrego Wind Caves, and the Fish Creek-Vallecito Badlands. There are fire rings, vault toilets,  and six loosely designated campsites in the campground. You can also camp outside of the designated areas, but if you want to have a campfire, you’ll need your own fire pit.

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