Anza-Borrego Desert State Park ®

UPDATE (May 1, 2020): This park continues to be temporarily closed to camping and vehicular access, which includes all roads within the park, dirt roads, dirt parking lots, and washes. In addition, there are no parking facilities and parking on roadways is prohibited to protect public health from the COVID-19 pandemic. Although this park is open to local residents, they must abide by the following guidelines:

  • Stay Local: Walk or bike into the park. Do not drive to the park.
  • Stay Active: Keep walking, jogging, hiking and biking. Watch for one-way trails.
  • Stay Safer at 6 Feet: Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Gatherings, picnics and parties are not allowed. Visitors are being asked to leave if there are too many people at the park or on trails to allow for the required physical distance.
  • Stay Clean: Be prepared. Bring soap/sanitizer and pack out all trash.

Statewide, many parks and beaches are temporarily closed or have very limited access to ensure Californians are abiding and practicing physical distancing. The goals are to make sure people are safe and to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible. To view the list of closures and what they mean to the public, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.

Phone Number

(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)

Visitor Center Hours: The Visitor Center is CLOSED until further notice.

Driving Directions to Anza-Borrego Desert SP ®

The Visitor Center is located at the west end of Palm Canyon Dr. Approaching from the west on S-22, make a left at the stop sign at the intersection of Montezuma Valley Rd and Palm Canyon Dr. Follow Palm Canyon Drive to the parking lot at the end. If approaching from the east, Borrego Salton Seaway, follow S-22 through the town of Borrego Springs. S-22 will turn into Palm Canyon Drive. Follow Palm Canyon Drive all the way to the parking lot at the end of the road.
Walk 200 yards on the sidewalk from the flagpole to the front doors of our underground building.

Camping and Lodging

Visitors will be able to reserve campsites six months in advance from the current date. Bookings may extend from the arrival date to the desired departure date – based on availability and the park’s maximum stay rules.
Reservation are available October 1st through April 30th.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

OVERNIGHT FACILITIES
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
TRAIL USE
Bike Trails
Hiking Trails
Horseback Riding
DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Historical/Cultural Site
Picnic Areas
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Interpretive Exhibits
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Family Programs
OTHER FACILITIES & VISITOR INFORMATION
Parking
Restrooms / Showers
Restrooms
Drinking Water Available

Park Information

May 21, 2020: 

Although access is increasing in many parks, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is still CLOSED to all camping and to ALL vehicular traffic, even on dirt roads.

Please stay home, shelter in place, and help limit the spread of COVID-19 infection. It is up to all of us to do our part to control the spread and keep everyone healthy.

We look forward to welcoming you back into the park when we can do so safely. Until then, look to our Facebook page to stay connected with Anza-Borrego Desert State Park!

 

Park Watch:  Anza-Borrego Desert State Park has a “Park Watch” program to help reduce theft, burglary, resource damage, and other crimes in the park.  You are invited to participate and help in the safety and protection of Anza-Borrego DSP, your campsite, as well as other campsites, other areas & park visitors around you.  If you see any of crimes or other crimes, please call the Anza-Borrego Desert Visitor Center at: 760-767-4205 

To reduce theft and other crimes, State Park Peace Officers ask you to take the following steps:

-Secure valuables in your vehicle trunk when leaving your campsite.

-Introduce yourself to those camped around you and agree to help in watching each other’s campsite and personal belongings.

-Mark your belongings for easy identification.

-Report any suspicious Activities immediately.

By following these few, simple tips, you may be assuring yourself and your neighbors of a safe, fun, and relaxing stay at your California State Park.

 

General Park Regulations:

This list of regulations is intended to make your camping stay at Anza-Borrego DSP a more enjoyable experience.  Anytime during your stay, if you need assistance, please contact park staff and they will help you out.

 

Check in Time is at 2:00 PM each day. (Sorry, No Exceptions)

-Camping fees include entry for 1 vehicle and 1 legally towed vehicle or trailer.  Additional vehicles must register and pay additional fees (Currently $10.00 each vehicle.)

-Campers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent / legal guardian, or provide, upon arrival, a letter from a parent / legal guardian granting permission to camp.  All juveniles must be in their own campsite at 10:00 PM.

-Quiet hours are from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM.  Visitors not staying overnight must be out by 10:00 PM.

-Generators may be operated in the park between the hours of 10:00 Am and 8:00 PM.

-Campsites are limited to 8 people maximum and is designed for individual family use.  Large groups may require a Special Event Permit.

-Campsites are limited to 2 vehicles.  There is no parking for more vehicles.  A trailer is counted as a vehicle. 

-Animals must be on a leash less than 6 feet in length at all times, and may not be left unattended or outside at night.

-Alcohol and glass containers are prohibited beyond your campsite.

-All park plants and animals are protected.  Do not cut, attach items, or harass any plants or animals.

-Along all park designated dirt roads, vehicles must be parked no more than one (1) car length off a given  road where it will not disturb any natural features.

-Bicycles, mountain bikes, and skateboards must remain on all paved roads.  All riders under the age of 18 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet.

-Illegal ground fires are prohibited.  Campfires must be kept inside a camp stove or in a metal container provided the camper with a bottom and sides.

-All natural & cultural features are protected.  Nothing may be removed or disturbed.

-The entire backcountry area of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is defined as a camping facility.  Occupancy by the same persons, equipment, or vehicles of any camping facility within Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is limited to a total of thirty (30) days in any calendar year.

-No person shall launch, land, or operate a powered unmanned aircraft or Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) within Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

-All roadways in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park-dirt, sandy wash, or paved are considered a road.  The California Vehicle Code applies to all roadways in the park and all vehicles must be highway legal and must remain on all designated roadways. All Off-Road Vehicles are prohibited in the park.  

-Firearms and fireworks are prohibited anywhere in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

Superintendent's Closure Orders click here

ATTENTION: 

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is now CLOSED to ALL VEHICLE TRAFFIC and overnight use. 

The Borrego Palm Canyon Trail, Parking Lot and Day Use Area are closed until further notice.

Your cooperation will help the Palm Grove recover and keep the trail open. See Superintendent's Order with map of closed area.

Tips to Safely Enjoy Anza-Borrego Desert State Park During the Winter Season

It is important for visitors to plan their outdoor adventure at Anza-Borrego Desert SP or any desert properly. Simple actions such as taking plenty of water (1 gallon/per person/day) and food, and knowing that cell coverage is extremely limited or non-existent can help you be better prepared to safely enjoy the desert. 

During the winter season, temperatures can range from mid 80s to high 90s during the day to nearly freezing temperatures during nights. It is important to plan properly for your California desert adventure.

Below you will find just a few tips to safely enjoy the desert:

Vehicles

  • Have a proper vehicle for your outdoor desert activities to be able to navigate through rough roads.
  • Check ROAD CONDITIONS before heading out on dirt roads.

Cell Phone Use

  • Cell phone coverage is spotty or nonexistent. Have a way to communicate if there is an emergency.

First Aid Kit

  • Bring a first aid kit and become familiar with it.

Outdoor Plan

  • Leave an itinerary of your trip with a family member or friend with information such as name and age of hikers/campers, trailhead or campsite name and location, and expected return date.

Hiking/Camping

  • Make sure to have plenty of water and food for duration of your trip to avoid dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
  • Check Weather. Weather can change instantly.
  • Dress appropriately with layers of clothing and appropriate shoes such as hiking boots and close-toed shoes.
  • Mark tents and ropes so they are visible at night.
  • Keep it clean: pack it in & pack it out.

For more tips for visiting the desert, check out our news release for additional details.

PLEASE NOTE: Many interpretive activities have been cancelled due to the governor's call for "social distancing." Please call the Visitor Center (760-767-4205) for information about specific programs. 

 

Our Behind-the-Scenes Tours have ended for the 2019 - 2020 season. We hope to see you in the 2020 - 2021 season.

Tell us how you liked the interpretive programs you attended. Fill out the Visitor RAPPORT Survey.

Self-Guided Activities

Children's Outdoor Parks Passport

Junior Ranger Adventure Guide

You can print out a Black-and-White cover to color! Spanish cover.

When using map apps., it is best to use Anza Borrego Desert State Park® Visitor Center for directions to the Visitor Center.  Using only Anza-Borrego Desert State Park® in some map apps. may result in directions leading to a dirt, 4 wheel drive road.

Borrego Springs, Calif. — California State Parks collects day use fees of $10 per vehicle per day at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center and at developed campgrounds. The day use fee ticket is valid at any State Park in the Colorado Desert District for the date of purchase.

Campgrounds: ANZA-BORREGO IS CLOSED TO CAMPING

Reservations for Borrego Palm Canyon Campground are made through Reserve California (www.reservecalifornia.com or 1-800-444-7275). Primitive campgrounds are first-come, first-serve. Calendar-year limit of 30 days applies.

Roads and Trails: ANZA-BORREGO IS CLOSED TO ALL VEHICLE TRAFFIC

Due to trail conditions, Lower Willows Hiking/Equestrian Trail in Coyote Canyon is closed.
 
Please be aware that the vast majority of dirt roads in the park require four-wheel-drive vehicles!

See ROAD CONDITIONS as of 1/13/20. 

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.

Once in Borrego Springs, the easiest way to find the Visitor Center is to drive to the far west end of Palm Canyon Drive. From the parking lot ($10 fee per car per day), follow the sidewalk down about 200 yards past the flagpole to the front doors of the building, which is hidden, mostly underground!

The 3-mile (roundtrip) Borrego Palm Canyon Trail is accessed from the trailhead at the end of the main campground road ($10 Day-use parking fee). 

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.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park® has been named an International Dark Sky Park and the town of Borrego Springs a Dark Sky Community!

This recognition for our efforts in protecting and interpreting the dark skies over the park comes from the International Dark Sky Association (IDA), and will help ensure that dark skies over Anza-Borrego remain an unspoiled resource. Read the Press Release. Plan to join us for our next Stargazing date: June 29, 9-10 pm at the Visitor Center.

 

    

The online video journal of the Colorado Desert District covering Anza-Borrego Desert State Park®, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park and Palomar Mountain State Park.

 

 

 

  


Additional Visitor Services

    • California Overland (Vehicle tours and interpretive programs)
    • Bike Borrego (Interpretive Bike Tours)
    • County of San Diego (Agua Caliente Hot Springs)

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Anza- Borrego Desert State Park’s rugged landscape formed largely by the forces of erosion attacking the uplifted mountains. The higher the mountains rise, the more vigorously they are attacked by rain, snow, ice, and wind, as they yield to the constant pull of gravity.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
(Photograph by Mike Fuller)

The full Geo Gems report  |  Geological Gems of State Parks

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When using map apps., it is best to use Anza Borrego Desert State Park® Visitor Center for directions to the Visitor Center.  Using only Anza-Borrego Desert State Park® in some map apps. may result in directions leading to a dirt, 4 wheel drive road.  more information under 'About Us - Location - Directions'.