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ANZA-BORREGO DESERT SP, CA

Photo: ANZA-BORREGO DESERT SP Photo: ANZA-BORREGO DESERT SP
With over 600,000 acres, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the largest state park in the contiguous United States. 500 miles of dirt roads, 12 wilderness areas and miles of hiking trails provide visitors with an unparalleled opportunity to experience the wonders of the Colorado Desert. The ...

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Description

With over 600,000 acres, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the largest state park in the contiguous United States. 500 miles of dirt roads, 12 wilderness areas and miles of hiking trails provide visitors with an unparalleled opportunity to experience the wonders of the Colorado Desert. The park is named after Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and the Spanish name borrego, or bighorn sheep. The park features washes, wildflowers, palm groves, cacti and sweeping vistas. Visitors may also have the chance to see roadrunner, golden eagles, kit foxes, mule deer and bighorn sheep as well as iguanas, chuckwallas and the red diamond rattlesnake.

Numerous roads will take you into this vast park. Consult a map before making travel plans to be sure you enter the desired part of the park. Most visitors approach from the east via Highways S22, S2, or 78. Visitors from San Diego via Highways 79 and 78 have the added pleasure of driving through the mountainous Cuyamaca Rancho State Park--quite a different experience from Anza-Borrego. The highways from the east climb 2,400 feet or so and then descend about 2,000 feet to the valley. Where the highway breaks out of the high-country vegetation, it reveals the great bowl of the Anza-Borrego desert.

The valley spreads below, and there are mountains all around. The highest are to the north--the Santa Rosa Mountains. The mountains are a wilderness, with no paved roads in or out or through. They have the only all-year-flowing watercourse in the park. They are the home of the peninsular bighorn sheep, often called desert bighorn. Few park visitors ever see them; the sheep are justly wary. A patient few observers each year see and count them, to learn how this endangered species coping with human encroachment.

Season For Peak Fees: 10/01 to 04/30

Coyote Canyon will be CLOSED for the annual summer closure from June 1 through September 30 to allow the bighorn sheep to drink without interruption during the hot summer months. No vehicle or foot traffic is allowed beyond the closure.

Check the State Parks website for additional information on the weather, suggested day hikes, or to see the park brochure, campground map, park photos, video, and more. Information available will vary from park to park.Click here
Park Kiosk Hours:
  • Hi Season(Oct 1 - Apr 30): Varies, self-register when not open
  • Lo Season(May 1 - Sep 30): Self-Register
  • Services & Amenities:

    Within Facility
    • ADA Access
    • Birdwatching
    • Comfort Station
    • Dump Station
    • Fire Rings
    • Group Picnicking
    • Hiking Trails
    • Horseback Riding
    • Nature Trails
    • Parking
    • Picnic Area
    • Ranger Station
    • Restrooms
    • Showers
    • Telephone
    • Toilet, Accessible
    • Visitors Center
    Alerts and Important Information
    Discount Pass must be presented at the time of check in.
    Your DMV Disabled Placard/License Plate does not automatically give you a discount on your campsite. You will need to obtain a CA State park-issued Disabled Discount Pass (DDP) or Distinguished Veterans Pass (DVP).

    Temperatures can reach 80-100 degrees in the spring. Wear hats and carry water. Flash floods possible during storms. Check with the park for road conditions.

    The camping fee includes entry for 1 vehicle and one legally towed vehicle or trailer. The park staff will collect any extra vehicle fees upon entry.

    • All three campgrounds are in separate locations.

      BORREGO PALM CANYON

      • Reservations 10/01 thru 04/30.
      • Borrego Palm Canyon Campground has Hook-Up sites, Developed sites, ADA sites, and 5 - Group Camp sites and is located within the town of Borrego Springs at 200 Palm Canyon Drive.
      • Sites 1-52 (Hook-up sites): Reservations available October 1 through April 30; 1st1st when not on reservations (May 1 through September 30)
      • Sites 53-89: Reservations available October 1 through April 30; closed when not on reservations (May 1 through September 30)
      • Sites 90-99: Reservations available October 1 through April 30; closed when not on reservations (May 1 through September 30)
      • Sites 103-120: Reservations available October 1 through April 30; 1st1st when not on reservations (May 1 through September 30)
      • To book a Group site you must have at least NINE occupants.
      • Group Camps (5): Reservations available October 1 through April 30; closed when not on reservations (May 1 through September 30)
      VERN WHITAKER HORSE CAMP -- Horses Required
      • Reservations 10/01 thru 04/30.
      • Vern Whitaker Horse Camp is located roughly 8 miles north of the town of Borrego Springs off of Henderson Canyon Road and includes a 3-mile drive on a single track dirt road to the camp.
      • Reservations available October 1 through April 30; 1st1st May 1 through May 31; closed when not on reservations (June 1 through September 30)
      TAMARISK GROVE
      • Reservations 11/01 thru 04/30
      • Tamarisk Grove is located roughly 18 miles south of the town of Borrego Springs on Highway S-3 near the intersection with Highway 78.
      • Reservations available November 1 through April 30; 1st1st May 1 through May 31; closed when not on reservations (June 1 through September 30)

    Contact Information:

    Mailing Address:

    ANZA-BORREGO DESERT SP
    200 PALM CANYON DRIVE
    BORREGO SPRINGS  CA  92004

    Phone Number:

    Information:  (760)767-5311