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state park welcome sign at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Surrounded by majestic peaks, ridges, and canyons, scenic Anza-Borrego Desert State Park stretches across 600,000 acres from Riverside County to an area near the border of Mexico. This impressive and extensive California state park is located just 70 miles east of San Diego.

Some of the most diverse desert landscape exist here within the Colorado Desert, creating a haven for a variety of wildlife and attracting visitors with opportunities to birdwatch and view the array of brightly colored wildflowers. Guests also enjoy hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, camping, and picnicking.

Activities

Pack your overnight gear and prepare to be dazzled by the vast wilderness inside Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. In addition to a variety of campsites to choose from and miles of nature trails to discover, the park also features scenic picnic areas, a Visitor Center, and a desert garden. The picturesque desert garden, located near the Visitor Center, features a selection of native plants and a pupfish pond.

colorful dandelions at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Here are some of the activities that you can do during your visit to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park:

Hiking at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Explore the nature trails at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and discover the rustic beauty inside this 600,000 acre wilderness area. Hike up to Ghost Mountain, out to the overlook at Smuggler’s Canyon, or along some of the undeveloped trails inside the park. Be sure to wear protective clothing and carry plenty of water, especially during the summer months.

Here are a few of the trails at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park:

  • The Pacific Crest Trail – This scenic trail extends for 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada and passes through 5 of California’s state parks (Anza Borrego Desert, Castle Crags, McArthur-Burney Falls, Silverwood Lake, and Mt San Jacinto).
  • ‘Ehmuu-Morteros Trail – An easy ½ mile trail, open seasonally, that leads through the park and out to the Indian grinding holes located at the Kumeyaay village site.
  • Yaqui Well Nature Trail – This easy 1.6-mile trail winds through the park near the Tamarisk Grove Campground.

aerial photograph of the canyons at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Biking at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Guests to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park may ride their bicycles along the primitive roads, paved roads, and the Coyote Canyon Trail.

Horseback Riding at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Guests with their own horses may ride along the equestrian trails, the California Riding and Hiking Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the park’s primitive roadways.

Birding at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park’s 600,000 acres of majestic mountains, ridges, canyons, and vast wilderness offer a variety of wildlife habitats and is an ideal location for birdwatching.

aerial photograph of the Colorado Desert at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

During your visit here you may see a Bald Eagle, Swainson’s Hawk, Black-throated Sparrow, LeConte’s Thrasher, White-winged Dove, Gambel’s Quail, Gray Vireo, Summer Tanager, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Warbling Vireo, Nuttall’s Woodpecker, California Thrasher, House Wren, Western Bluebird, California Scrub Jay, Spotted Towhee, or a Common Yellowthroat.

Nature and Wildlife at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Mountains and wilderness encompass almost two-thirds of the area inside and around Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. A variety of species coexist within this protected area, including the endangered Peninsular Bighorn Sheep. It’s not uncommon to also get a glimpse of a Mountain Lion, coyote, bobcat, badger, Antelope Squirrel, Cottontail Rabbit, rattlesnake, or a lizard within the park’s 600,000 acres.

See the Wildflowers at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Wildflowers are a popular attraction inside Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Each year, between the end of February and the beginning of March, a variety of brightly colored red, yellow, and green cactus blossoms start to appear.

Temperature and rainfall can create a stunning scene or only a few blossoms. Because of this a Wildflower Hotline (760-767-4684) was set up for guests to call ahead and ‘check’ on the current wildflower display before heading into the park.

a superbloom of flowers at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Pets

Pets are allowed only within designated areas at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park; these areas include campsites and roadways. Dogs should be supervised and kept on a leash no longer than 6-feet. Be sure to bring plenty of water for your pet and pliers in case they bump up against a prickly cactus.

Camping

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park has full hookup campsites, primitive campsites, and camping cabins available to reserve. Restrooms, drinking water, and token-operated showers are within walking distance to most camping areas.

Park Location

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
200 Palm Canyon Drive
Borrego Springs, CA 92004
Phone: 760.767.4205

Park Website
Reservations

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park: