Anza Borrego Desert State Park is one of the most remarkable wilderness areas in the United States. A mix of natural beauty, vastness, relative obscurity and the freedom to explore with far fewer restrictions that most other parks makes this a outdoor playground to intrigue the most jaded of park visitors.
The Park is located on the eastern side of San Diego County, with portions extending east into Imperial County and north into Riverside County. It is about a two-hour drive from San Diego, Riverside, and Palm Springs.
The park is named for the Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza, who first traversed Coyote Canyon in 1774, and the big horn sheep that live in the region (known as borrego in Spanish). It is 915 square miles in size and can be explored via 500 miles of dirt roads, rugged four-wheel drive paths and many miles of hiking trails. More than 200 species of wildflowers bloom in the desert, and wildlife is plentiful: bighorn sheep, coyotes, lizards, rattlesnakes, foxes, bobcats, cougars and tons of birds, including roadrunners.
Anza Borrego also offers numerous possibilities for outdoor adventure and recreation. The Ocotillo Wells Off-Road Vehicle area is a playground for four-wheeling, jeeping and dirt biking. The mountains and valleys provided many secluded spots for hiking and mountain biking, and you can camp nearly anywhere in the park. The
Summers are scorching hot — dangerously so — and spring can be busy near Palm Canyon, when the wildflowers bloom. Late fall, winter and early spring are the prime months to visit, when the temperatures are cooler. Plan to bring lots of water, and watch out for the cactuses and rattlesnakes.
Size: 600,000 acre
Terrain Type(s): Desert, Mountain
Average Precipitation: 5 inches
Average Temperature: 76° Fahrenheit
Annual High Temperature: 125° Fahrenheit
Annual Low Temperature: 43° Fahrenheit