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Organization Title

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Contact Information

(760) 767-5311

Max. Trailer Lengths

Trailer: 35 Feet
Camper/Motorhome: 35 Feet

Park Hours

dawn 'til dusk (in the day use area of the developed campgrounds)

Driving Directions to Anza-Borrego Desert SP

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. Many visitors approach from the east or west via Highways S22 and 78. From the coast, these highways descend from the heights of the Peninsular range of mountains with spectacular views of the great bowl of the Colorado Desert. Highway S2 enters the park from the south off of Interstate 8.

View on Map

Camping and Lodging

Online reservations are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Reservations can be made 7 months in advance on the first day of the month beginning at 8:00 a.m. PST via the website, by mail, or by calling the toll free telephone number at 1-800-444-7275. Due to seasonal volume, access to the ReserveAmerica website and the telephone line may at times be limited.

Online Reservations

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

Stargazing on July 4!
Join us on the roof of the Visitor Center for an evening under the stars! Bring binoculars, if you have them (you won't believe the view!), and a flashlight (red lens preferable, to preserve night vision). We'll explore constellations, and check out the rings of Saturn through the telescope, weather permitting.
9:00 - 10:00 PM


The Visitor Center is now on Summer Hours, open Saturdays and Sundays only (plus September 7), 9 am to 5 pm. Daily operation will resume October 16.

Think you might like to work for California State Parks? Salton Sea State Recreation Area is hiring a Park Aide to work in their Visitor Center. This is a seasonal position, and state housing may be available.
Click here for more information, or call 760-393-3059.

There is currently NO WATER at Bow Willow Primitive Camp.

Tamarisk Grove campground is closed for the summer.

Coyote Canyon Seasonal closure is in effect.


Very nice weather greeted 83 birders on count day, December 14, 2014. Unofficial total number of species reported is 125 – still waiting on one rare bird report.

Click here to see the full list of birds counted this year.
Click here to see the complete table of birds and locations.


Birds requiring documentation were Greater White-fronted Goose, Eurasian Wigeon, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Brown Creeper, Summer Tanager, Bell’s Sparrow, Sagebrush Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Purple Finch and Pine Siskin.


California x Gambel’s hybridization continues to make quail reporting difficult.


Interesting birds in the desert included eleven duck species found at golf courses, Townsend’ Solitaire, and local specialties such as Costa’s Hummingbird, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Crissal Thrasher, Le Conte’s Thrasher (remains quite difficult to find – barely had one this year), and Scott’s Oriole.


We had record-breaking numbers of American Robins and Cedar Waxwings, while the resurgence of the Gray Flycatcher on recent CBCs dwindled to one individual found this year.


The rise to dominance of the White-winged Dove continues. This bird first surpassed the Mourning Dove in abundance during the count in 2007. Eurasian Collared-Dove numbers had a peak in 2010; they are now as numerous as the Mourning Dove.


Overall most common bird was the White-crowned Sparrow, though its total dropped by 38% from last year. Perennial competitor for most numerous bird, the House Finch, dropped to 3rd in the overall standings after falling 53% from last year, allowing Yellow-rumped Warblers into second, though their numbers have remained constant.

Tamarisk Grove Campground is Open

Severe drought conditions have affected the availability of water at Tamarisk Grove Campground; effective immediately, the toilets in the campground will be closed but the showers will remain open.  Porta-potties with hand washing stations will be provided on site.  One non-potable (not for drinking) water spigot will be available in the campground for dishwashing.  Campers are advised to bring potable (drinking) water with them. 

Update from the Coyote Canyon Ranger

Thanks to the Back Country Horsemen, the Lower Willows trail has been cleared.  Visitors report water in Sheep, Indian, and Cougar Canyons.  Turkey Track is open, but as always, four wheel drive and high clearance are required.  A couple of spots may prove to be a bit of a pinch for full size vehicles.

Bighorn Sheep

Swainson's Hawks

Borrego Springs is a major stopover on the Swainson's Hawks' 6,000-mile spring migration from Argentina to their breeding grounds far north of us. Local "Hawkwatchers" are stationed at strategic locations in the valley every morning and evening to count them as they overnight here. Find out more on the Borrego Valley Hawkwatch Blog.


High temperatures have dried up the large flower displays in the valley. Now is the time to enjoy ironwoods in bloom, the occasional desert agave, and blooming desert willows!
Click here for tips on where and how to find something in bloom!
Chuparosa Bloom

If you would like to receive updates next year, as different wildflowers start coming into bloom, we suggest that you check back here, or join the email list of our nonprofit partner, Anza-Borrego Foundation.

You can also call our Wildflower Hotline at 760-767-4684.

Scroll down to see photos of wildflowers from previous seasons.

Park Volunteer Sam Webb took these "Before" and "After" photos that show how responsive ocotillos are to moisture in the soil.
                                         Photos by Park Volunteer Sam Webb
Blair Valley Wildflowers

Desert ChicoryDesert Gold PoppyPhacelia
DandelionVerbenaMonkey flower

About us - Location - Directions

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the largest state park in California. Five hundred miles of dirt roads, 12 wilderness areas and many miles of hiking trails provide visitors with an unparalleled opportunity to experience the wonders of the California Desert. The park is named for Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and the Spanish word borrego, or bighorn sheep. The park features washes, wildflowers, palm groves, cacti and sweeping vistas. Visitors may also have the chance to see roadrunners, golden eagles, kit foxes, mule deer and bighorn sheep as well as iguanas, chuckwallas and the red diamond rattlesnake. Listening devices for the hearing impaired are available in the visitor center.

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.

Many visitors approach from the east or west via Highways S22 and 78. From the coast, these highways descend from the heights of the Peninsular range of mountains with spectacular views of the great bowl of the Colorado Desert. Highway S2 enters the park from the south off of Interstate 8.

Seven New Cultural Preserves

California State Parks has classified seven areas of outstanding historic and cultural interest in Anza Borrego Desert State Park as Cultural Preserves. The proposed classifications were recommended in the approved 2005 A.B.D.S.P. General Plan.

For more information, please visit the link below:

Anza-Borrego Desert SP General Plan and Cultural Preserves Web page:

Sun motif pictograph]Little Blair Valley

Sun motif pictograph - Little Blair Valley

More about 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 to 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 is coping with human encroachment.


California Overland
Click on the link below to start your excursion through the wildlands of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park:

California Overland Home Page

Borrego Jeep / Photo Adventures

Borrego Jeep Photo Adventures
With Art and Soul



Beavertail Cactus Blossom
Blossoms and Buds: Beavertail Cactus at the Visitor Center (S Theriault)

The pictures below are from previous years' wildflower seasons. 
Orcutt Aster by Mike Bigelow
Orcutt Aster by Park Volunteer Mike Bigelow

Fishhook Cactus
Fishhook Cactus (Mammillaria)
photo by Park Volunteer Mike Bigelow

Desert Woolstar photo by Mike Bigelow
Desert Woolstar by Park Volunteer Mike Bigelow

Apricot Mallow
Apricot Mallow by Park Volunteer Mike Bigelow

Phacelia (Wild Heliotrope) photo by Park Volunteer Grace Clark
Phacelia (Wild Heliotrope)
photo by Park Volunteer Grace Clark

Pink Cheesebush by Grace Clark for webpage
Pink-blooming Cheesebush
photo by Park Volunteer Grace Clark
Barrel Cactus
     Barrel Cactus

Available Activities and Facilities at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

En route Campsites
Environmental Campsites
Family Campsites
Group Campsites
Hike or Bike Campsites
Primitive Camping
RV Sites w/Hookups
RV Dump Station
Alternative Camping
RV Access
Bike Trails
Hiking Trails
Horseback Riding
Historical/Cultural Site
Picnic Areas
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Interpretive Exhibits
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Family Programs
Restrooms / Showers
Drinking Water Available