Turtle Mountain Road

Turtle Mountain Rd

Turtle Mountain Road
BLM Road # NS477

off U.S. Highway 95
in between Needles & Blythe, California

BLM: Bureau of Land Management – Desert Camping

Several miles south of the town of Needles numerous desert washes cross the highway with dirt roads leading off into both directions. Turtle Mountain is just one dirt road to explore in this region, but there are many more unmarked, secluded roads. This region is perfect for “campers in-route” traveling who need a quick overnight camp spot (off the freeway).

Turtle Mountain Road is a one lane dirt road that runs next to a wash, in between Turtle Mountain Wilderness and Stepladder Mountain Wilderness. Leading approx 12 miles from US Highway 95 to the northern edge of the desert wilderness. The Turtle Mountain route continues westward to meet Water Road with Old Woman Mountain Wilderness nearby. Sunflower Springs Road continues north to Essex @ Interstate 40

BLM signage along US Hwy 95 is minimal. Look for vertical brown markers w/ reflectors, numbers or names. Driving slower than typical traffic, coast at 50 mph and keep your eyes peeled to the west side. Turtle Mountain Rd is marked at the pavement, but the marker is very small.

Eastern California Desert Wildflowers

Exploring the eastern side of Southern California, one can find the Colorado River and Arizona border region an excellent destination for winter camping. Springtime offers wildflower blooms, open camping and decent weather with sunny 70 degree days. Wildflowers and BLM beauty awaits those who venture off the paved routes.

Pink Cactus Bloom

Palo Verde trees line the washes and much vegetation can be seen throughout this remote region. Cacti include the cholla, ocotillo, barrel, beavertail, just to name a few. Wildflower blooms here are just as good as Anza Borrego Desert SP.

MARCH & APRIL are both prime months for the desert bloom

BLM Desert Camping

Drive more than a mile from the highway if you plan to camp in peace and quiet, as the overnight truck traffic goes all hours.

RV accessible camp spots are few and far in between. They can be found in large, level pullouts close to the main road, but you will be hearing traffic zoom by. Some dirt roads are in better shape than others; Seasonal storms in the low desert can wash out even paved roads. 4×4 may be needed in some areas.

Open camping in this desert is free and there is plenty of room to spread out. Imagine not seeing anyone pass by your camp or drive down your road for days. Camping in a sandy wash may seem appealing, but you best know the weather forecast and if rain is at all predicted nearby, be prepared to break camp (in the middle of the night) before a flash flood hits.

The Needles BLM Rangers Office is located on US Hwy 95, on the south edge of town and they can provide maps and more information. BLM California Deserts

Needles BLM Office
1303 S. US Hwy 95
Needles, CA 92363
760-326-7000

Lake Havasu BLM Office
2610 Sweetwater Avenue
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86406
928-505-1200

Anza Borrego Desert Wildflowers

Borrego Blooms

Barrel Cactus Anza

By far one of the best viewing areas for native California desert flora in the whole state. Autumn rain amounts determine the next year’s Spring bloom. If it rained real good all over SoCal before New Years Eve, chances are better for a favorable showing of color.

Low elevations, washes, badlands, dry lake beds bloom first in February, followed by March for mid altitude canyons and mountains. Highest desert peaks may not bloom until May.

Some of Total Escape favorite spots include:

S-2 Great Stagecoach Route of 1849

Anza Borrego Desert State Park
Anza Ranger 760-767-5311

Coyote Wash Blooms

April is usually the best month for the wildflowers; it is also the prime time for Spring Break camping. Open car camping for free – all over this huge California State Park. The tourists typically head over to the town of Borrego Springs, to Borrego Palm Canyon and the visitors center; but the REAL wildflowers are along remote stretches of highway, and on the DIRT BACK ROADS. Many roads are passenger car accessible, for at least the first mile, so don’t think you must have a 4×4 vehicle for just simple exploring.

Coyote Ocotillo Garden

Anza Borrego Wildflowers

Desert Wildflowers / Anza Borrego SP

Anza Borrego Flowers / Borrego Springs CA

Wild Flowers of Box Canyon, Mecca

San Diego desert maps
East San Diego County, Borrego Springs CA

San Diego Backcountry
600,000 acres of SoCal desert

BLOOM: March thru May
Anza Park elevations range from low to high. Lowest near eastern border of park (next to the Salton Sea) to the upper reaches of the western slopes @ 4000′ of the Laguna mountains. Lower elevations sprout up first; Higher elevations bloom later (along County Rd S-2) Drive from Warner Springs to Salton Sea = Back Road Highway # S22 is a great route to take thru the park – for the full gamut in vegetation & altitude.

anza wildflowers include – Arizona Lupine, Barrel cacti, Brittlebush, California Primrose, Cheesebush, Creosote, Desert Chicory, Desert Apricot, Desert Hibiscus, Desert Lavender, Desert Pincushion, Fiesta Flower, Fishhook Cactus, Gold-Poppy, Ghost Flowers, Ground Cherry, Fagonia, Prickly Pear, Monkey Flower, Ocotillo, Rigid Fiddleneck, Rock Daisy, Sahara Mustard, Sand Verbena, Short-Wing Deerweed, Spanish Needles, Spectacle Pod, Trailing Windmills, Turpentine Broom, Whispering Bells, Wishbone Bush

Anza Borrego Camping: Palm Canyon and RV Resortscamp

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2012 CaliforniaWildflower Reports

(check back here, around early March)

local links:

Anza Borrego Desert
Anza Borrego Desert State Park
Anza-Borrego National History Association
Borrego Campfire Restrictions
Desert USA Reports
Hellhole Canyon Hike
Palm Canyon Hike
Pictograph Trail
Total Escape Adventures Campouts

blurflwr

nearby towns:

Keysville Classic Mountain Bike Race

Mountain bike races are few & far in between, so Total Escape is here to promote them. This is one of the longest running races, near Lake Isabella, along the Kern River & up to 500+ bikes in competition w/ various classes. Downhill, cross country & short track. Presented by the Southern Sierra Fat Tire Association. 20+ years running, so we know it’s popular. Annual event held in the Springtime.

Annual event; March

KERNVILLE CA

More info on the Keysville Classic Race –
http://www.keyesvilleclassic.com/

Zinfandel Festival

Zinfandel Festival

Traditional held the third weekend in March in the Central Coast Wine Tasting Region
Hosts:        Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance
Contact:    Meagan Callahan, 800-549-WINE (9463)
Where:    Paso Robles Event Center, 2198 Riverside Ave. Paso Robles, CA 93446

Celebrate the region’s heritage wine grape at Zinfandel Festival in three distinct events – RESERVE, Wine Country Auction and Grand Tasting.

RESERVE, the latest enhancement to the weekend celebration, acts as the all access Paso Robles Zinfandel Festival Pass. This unique event features exclusive wines including reserve and barrel samples and will be complemented by local wine country cuisine. Guests will also have the opportunity to preview auction lots in advance of Saturday’s live and silent auctions.

The Saturday Wine Country Auction includes one-of-a-kind lifestyle and wine auction lots up for bid. The Wine Country Auction is also the only opportunity to taste and purchase the 2009 collaborative Zinfandel blend. Directly following is the marquee Grand Tasting where attendees will enjoy vast selections of Zinfandel and Zinfandel blends from more than 40 Paso Robles producers.

Annual Event: MARCH
Paso Robles CA

pasowine.com/events/zinfandelfestival.php