Five Days in Anza Borrego

We wrapped up five days in Borrego Springs, a town that is completely surrounded by Anza Borrego State Park, which at more than 600,00 acres, is California’s largest state park. This was our first ever visit, even though we have lived within 175 miles of the area for many years. Because of recent news about what I consider to be yet another land grab affecting boondockers, and the uncertainty created, we chose not to boondock during this our first trip there. Instead, decided to stay in Palm Canyon State Campground, just above the town and overlooking the valley. It is a nice campground with paved sites and full hook-ups, clean restrooms and token showers. The center of town has a traffic circle which also serves as a city park. Christmas CircleKnown as Christmas Circle, it is very nice with trees and well manicured and maintained lawn. Very impressive considering that this is one of the driest desert areas of Southern California, maybe the entire world. The “circle” also serves as a wifi hotspot, so it is not unusual to see folks sitting around with their laptops.

Onething that a visitor notices right away, is a collection of metal sculptures along various byways leading into Borrego Springs. Most of the sculptures represent mammals that once actually thrived here, as well as activities representative of the area. But there are several fanciful pieces as well. These randomly placed art objects, 130 in all, are the work of Ricardo Breceda, a welder by trade, who became the “accidental artist” as the result of being commissioned to create them by the late Dennis Avery, a wealthy landowner.

Some are life-like…Rams 2




While others not so much (I hope)…





But some are just fun…







Not too far from Borrego Springs is the mountain town of Julian, California. Julian makes for a great day trip up and out of the desert and into the forest. JulianThe town maintains its old west charm, harkening back to the days when it was a key stop for the Butterfield Stage Line, as well as a place where gold was discovered. Also renowned as a great location for growing apples, it’s a great place to grab a piece of apple pie at one of several locations while in town.


While in Anza Borrego, we experienced our first “slot”. Not being avid hikers, we have not experienced the many slot canyons of the southwest, particularly those in southern Utah. Although we DO plan for that eventuality, Anza Borrego has a few of its own, one of which is known simply as “The Slot”. =We decided to go find it. I say go find it because Anza is not real big on signage as a means of directing you to sites within the park. And even when there ARE signs they are quite small and easy to miss. The SlotWhat’s needed is a good trail map, and even then you can easily take a wrong turn. GPS coordinates? Forget it! Anyway, we DID eventually find “The Slot”, and here’s a few pics of what we found. Yikes…



Another must-see is Font’s Point, which overlooks the “Badlands” of Anza Borrego. Talk about dramatic. The “point” is just a short jeep trip off the highway, and then a short hike up a slope. What you DON’T expect is that the trail leads right up to the absolute edge of a cliff. No guardrail, no warning sign. Just you and open air. And a spectacular view of the Badlands of Anza Borrego.

It’s hard to believe that our five days was over so quickly. So many things we did not see. So many more Jeep trails to explore. So many colorful wildflowers to see in another season. We’ll be back.

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3 Responses to Five Days in Anza Borrego

  1. Marilyn in Dania Beach FL says:

    What an interesting place to visit. It is one my list of must visit places.

    Thanks for posting this wonderful journal entry.


  2. Robin pence says:

    Enjoyed reading about y’all’s stay at Borrego. The slot canyons have a certain lure about them don’t they. We’ve never hiked in one but I’ve seen pictures. Especially up in the Lake Powell area of UT. One of the things on my bucket list is to rent a pontoon boat with short-stay amenities on board. Beautiful water with red rock views of a deep blue sky. Oh well. I think Larry’s list is a little different from mine and I’m ok with that. Looking forward to reading more about the adventures of Ed & Sharon and I pray God keeps y’all safe. We love the two of you in Christ.

  3. Pam Wright says:

    Glad you enjoyed your time in Borrego Springs:) The VC sells a great Recreation Trail map of the entire area which also includes many hikes. It is a must for traveling the wash. There are soooo many very interesting Jeep roads that are just beautiful and not bad driving. We’ve only been in one spot where we shouldn’t have been with a stock Jeep Wrangler, but we came through fine. Good you found The Slot! It is a fun little hike. The Palm Slot just beyond Clarks Dry Lake is longer and much prettier but not as narrow.

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