Borrego Park

Anza Park / Borrego Park

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East San Diego County, Borrego Springs CA

San Diego Backcountry
600,000 acres of SoCal desert
San Diego desert maps

BLOOM: mid-March thru May
Anza Park elevations range from low to high. Lowest near eastern border (next to the Salton Sea) to the upper reaches of the western slopes @ 4000′. Wide, deep, sandy, long desert washes, native petroglphs, wind caves, slot canyons and split mountain. This uncrowded state park has the most acreages than all of the parks.

OPEN CAMPING

Camp in a developed campground, a small back country site or camp primitive on nearly any dirt road. Car camping to 4×4, this park has lots to offer folks wishing to really escape. No ground fires allowed, so bring your metal campfire bucket and large trash bag to carry out your ashes. The last thing you want is to scar these pristine white desert washes.

DESERT WILDFLOWERS

Steep rocky canyons on the Laguna mountain foothills can be challenging terrain, so bring good, sturdy hiking boots. Wildflowers can be abundant on certain years. Lower elevations sprout up first; Higher elevations along County Rd S-2 & S-22 bloom later in Spring. By June 1st most of the color is gone in and around Borrego Springs, so this is a real Winter and Spring vacation kinda spot. California desert wildflowers include primrose, barrel cactus, prickly pear, monkey flower, ocotillo & many more.

ANZA BORREGO WILDFLOWERS

seaoflavendar

see also BORREGO SPRINGS

find you way easily with the Anza Borrego Desert Map

anza park

This is the largest State Park in California and “open car camping” is allowed on the back roads. (also referred to as primitive camping, free camping or 4×4 camping) One of the few places in Southern California that you can camp outside of a developed Campground and still have a campfire. You gotta bring a large metal bucket to have your campfire in – as ashes scar white sandy washes and ground fires are not allowed.

Borrego Camping

Anza Borrego Park / Anza Borrego Campgrounds

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California Highway 78 cuts across Southern California and right thru the middle of the largest State Park in the lower 48. Anza Borrego Desert State Park is a place that must be visited more than once to really take in all the beauty it has to offer. Free camping in Southern California is abundant here, if you are willing to follow the primitive camp fire rules of the park and you are comfortable camping away from developed campgrounds.

North-South: San Diego County Road S2 skirts the western border with Laguna Mountain towering above. It starts at Ocotillo @ Interstate 8 and heads Northwest to Lake Henshaw at Warner Springs.

East-West: a major route S22, connects Ranchita /Montezuma Valley to the Borrego Valley, and continues East to the Salton Seawhataview. The center of the parks is pretty much the town of Borrego Springs, where the State Parks visitors center is located. San Diego County Road S3 leads from Hwy 78 down the the town of Borrego Springs Valley.

developed campgrounds:

free camping: While the camping facilities listed above provide picnic tables and toilets, or more luxury camping… Total Escape thinks the best part of camping in Anza Borrego Desert is the vast amount of free, open camping available on most back roads. Hundreds of dirt roads lead off in all directions, so you can find the peace and solitude that few inside busy campgrounds ever experience.

  • Anza Borrego Desert Map
  • San Diego Backcountry Map
  • Many Anza desert routes are sandy washes, dirt roads, some for high clearance vehicles only, or 4WD in several canyons. Often there is no signs telling you need 4×4 to proceed. May only find out when its too late and you’re stuck.

    Have a good dirt road map with you and know your vehicles limitations. Passenger cars should be very cautious off road. Cell phone coverage is spotty out here in the most remote wilderness areas. oystercamp

    San Diego Camping

    Anza Backroads

    Cleveland National Forest Camping – San Diego Campgrounds – Desert Camping Anza Borrego – SD County Campgrounds – BLM Campgrounds – San Diego Beach Camping – San Diego Mountains

    campground elev spots veg toilet water notes
    Bobcat Meadow 3800′ 16 oaks vault no no RVs
    Burnt Rancheria 5000′ 100+ pines vault piped Sunrise Hwy
    Cibbets Flats 4200′ 23 oaks vault piped Interstate 8
    Corral Canyon 3500′ 20 oaks vault piped OHV near I-8
    Dripping Springs 1800′ 26 oaks vault piped Hwy 79, E Temecula
    El Cariso North 2600′ 24 oaks vault piped small RV
    Fry Creek Campground 4900′ 20 oaks vault piped Palomar Mountain
    Indian Flats Campground 3600′ 17 oaks vault piped off Hwy 79
    Laguna Mountain 5500′ 75 pines vault piped Sunrise Hwy
    Palomar SP Campground 7000′ 13 pines vault piped Palomar Mountain

    Anza Camping

    Anza Borrego Desert Camping & Campgrounds

    Desert Mountain Biking Open Camping Stargazing Hiking

    San Diego County Campgrounds

    Sweetwater Reservoir, Otay Lakes, Agua Caliente, Vallecito
    Camping Reservations 877-565-3600 or 858-565-3600

    Camping

    Bureau of Land Management

    San Diego BLM Camping

    Lark Canyon, Cottonwood @ McCain Valley near Interstate 8

    Coastal Cliffs San Diego

    San Diego Beach Camping

    Coastal Towns with Camping near San Diego –

    Chula Vista
    Coronado
    San Diego
    Mission Beach & Bay
    Del Mar
    Cardiff
    Carlsbad
    Oceanside

    Indian Flats Campground

    Indian Flats Campground is located on a dirt road off Hwy 79, near Warner Springs CA. Boulder ridges & manzanita surround this oak filled secluded canyon. Small seasonal creek & waterfall is a short walk from campsite.

    Free Camping

    Anza Borrego Desert by far has the best free camping options available near San Diego.

    Maps Mountains / Desert Topo / San Diego Area Maps

    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

    Split Mountain Anza Borrego Desert

    Split Mountain Road

    Fish Creek Wash
    Anza Borrego Desert State Park
    Ocotillo Wells, CA

    Fish Creek Wash @ Split Mountain

    Explore Anza Borrego State Park desert deeper for the secluded hidden treasures. Find yourself traveling the east San Diego county desert, on Highway 78 eastbound on the way to the Salton Sea. Passing the turn offs for Borrego Springs, slow down and look for the intersection of off-roaders & ATVs @ Ocotillo Wells, California. Ocotillo Wells State Vehicluar Recreation Area is on the north (left) side of the highway and Split Mountain is on the right.

    From highway turn south (right) on to Split Mountain Road, which leads to numerous back road destinations. Ranch homes and private property line the first mile of the road, neighborhood general store and a tiny saloon, RV park and an ATV rental shop.

    Old Kane Springs Road is a main dirt road that parallels the highway from the narrows at San Felipe Wash to the Salton Sea. Old Kane Springs Rd intersect the Split Mountain route about 1 mile south of highway.


    View Larger Map

    Split Mountain ranger station is before the Elephant Trees nature trail. Near the railroad track, the paved road turns into Fish Creek Wash near Fish Creek Campground. If you have a low rider passenger car, you might wanna park it here and walk in to the canyon. Within the first few miles there is a lot to explore – fossils in walls, huge cliffs, wind caves, narrow canyons.

    The actual “split in the mountain” section is located just beyond the campground on a sandy desert road.

    Anza Borrego’s Split Mountain

    Fish Creek Wash continues south, deep into the Carrizo badlands where 4×4 is definitely needed. The trail system eventually loops back over to paved S2 @ Canebrake, via Pinyon Mountain w/ the Squeeze, or Canon Sin Nombre. Unlimited primitive camp sites, found inside every other nook and cranny. Numerous hidden slot canyons, sandstone cliffs and wide sandy washes becomes a literal maze of off-road trails so you better carry a good back roads topographic map.