In the badlands of Anza Borrego exists an exotic, unfamiliar beauty. A vista unlike any other, to be experienced only from the majestic Font’s Point. It’s an absolute must if you’re planning on visiting the desert state park. Anza borrego attracts visitors looking to experience the serenity of silence and isolation. The desert, in general, is one of planet Earth’s many treasures that offer this longed- for peace.
However, it’s clearly not for the faint of heart. Despite it’s spectacular sunrises and sunsets, odd wildlife and other unique characteristics, the desert can be unforgiving and potentially deadly. It’s crucial to be prepared. Some of the obvious preparations include wearing plenty of sunscreen and UV-protective clothing, drinking lots of water, and finding shade to cool down when necessary. Reading up on desert safety tips can be helpful and can make all the difference in your experience.
Now moving away from the safety disclaimer, let’s explore some of Anza Borrego’s awesomeness. Not quite as heard of or visited as Joshua Tree, yet still nearby in the Southern California Mojave Desert region, Anza Borrego boasts a vast playground for desert hiking, camping, and exploration. Some of the highlights of our desert state park experience are listed below.
Anza Borrego Hightlights
Galleta Meadows Sculptures
These bizarre beasts are oddly spaced out across the desert floor; only about two miles from the town of Anza Borrego. Oh yeah! Did I mention there is a quaint town in the heart of the park? The sculptures, a symbolic icon of Anza Borrego, are the works from the creative mind of Ricardo Breceda, a welder and artist from Perris, California.
To get to the sculptures just follow the dirt path trails in your vehicle until you start to see giant dinosaurs, scorpions, wooly mammoths, grasshoppers. These can be viewed by two-wheel drive vehicles, just drive with caution!
It’s really a great place to let your imagination run wild! The intricate designs of the sculptures make them so realistic, you feel projected into some sort of apocalyptic multi-universal cinematic dimension! So cool and so very strange!
Borrego Palm Canyon Hike
The Borrego Palm Canyon Hike is pleasantly moderate out and back three-mile hike into the canyon. At the end of the trail you’ll find an oasis of palm trees, which is the third largest oasis in California! It’s really quite unusual to find palm trees and plenty of fresh water in the middle of the desert – could it have been a mirage?! We also spotted several lizards along the way sunbathing on warm stones!
It is a rather rocky trail, and there isn’t much shade for the most of it so be prepared to get some serious sun. This hike is also the most popular hiking trail in Anza Borrego, as the trailhead meets one of the parking lots of the only few campsites in the park.
Desert Camping: Anza Borrego
We got really lucky with this one. As you may realize, finding good camping sites in southern California can be difficult these days! They are either already booked far in advance, or they’re “first come-first serve”, which is a major hit or miss that can really throw a wrench in your plans if you rely on it.
The main camping area in the park is the Borrego Palm Canyon Campground, which opened at 2:00PM to the first come-first serve campers. We arrived right as a vehicle was leaving, and the park ranger told us we snagged the final open camp site. Score! There were coin-operated showers, hand-washing stations and fire pits. We were happy, to say the least.
There are alternative primitive camp sites in the park, so certainly look into that if you’re not too picky when it comes to your nomad experience! That would have been our next option had things not worked out so fortunately for our group.