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Outdoors & Recreation

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

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200 Palm Canyon Dr, Borrego Springs, California 92004 USA (760) 767-5311

  • Other Sporting Facility
  • State Park
  • Nature Reserve
  • Hiking Area
  • Historic Site

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Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is a state park of California, USA, preserving a vast tract of the Colorado Desert in Southern California. The park is named after 18th century Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and from the Spanish word borrego meaning big horn sheep. With 600,000 acres (2,400km2) that include one-fifth of San Diego County, Anza-Borrego is the largest state park in California and, after New York's Adirondack Park, the second largest in the continental United States. The park occupies eastern San Diego County and reaches into Imperial and Riverside Counties.

Take advantage of the nice weather to come out for a walk or a hike, and see what you can discover! Explore on your own, or join one of our interpretive hikes led by a volunteer naturalist. Anza-Borrego Foundation also has wonderful spring walks scheduled, which are led by members of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Botany Society.

The quality and extent of flower displays are governed by a variety of environmental factors that are not only beyond our control but hard to predict.  This is the second year of lower-than-average rainfall, and it is unlikely that we will see an eye-popping display of annuals, though some sand verbena and desert dandelions are starting to appear along valley roadsides, and several species of cactus are bursting into bloom.

Right now a number of annuals, including phacelia, brown-eyed evening primrose, desert chicory, and two kinds of poppies, are blooming along the Elephant Tree Trail, off of Split Mountain Road. Be advised that the one-mile road to the Trail is rough and rocky, and not suitable for cars with low clearance. Recent reports indicate that some of these annuals are starting to dry up, though a few five-spot plants can be found blooming along the trail.

Sand verbena, desert dandelion, and a few desert lilies are making an appearance at the north end of DiGiorgio Road, right where the pavement ends. 

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Rated 5.0 May 19, 2015

I know it's a dessert and everyone expects it to be hot, but don't even think about hiking here in the summer-- it's that hot. March is the best time to see the blooms. And the camping is out of this world! dark skies, stars as far as the eye can see.

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