dawn 'til dusk (in the day use area of the developed campgrounds)
Visitor Center Hours: Daily 9am to 5pm.
When using map apps., it is best to use Anza Borrego Desert State Park(R) Visitor Center for directions to the Visitor Center. Using only Anza-Borrego Desert State Park(R) in some map apps. may result in directions leading to a dirt, 4 wheel drive road.
Borrego Springs, Calif. — California State Parks will begin to collecting day use fees at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park visitor center starting on November 3, 2017. Day Use fee is $10 per vehicle and will be collected on Fridays through Sundays and holidays. The day use fee ticket is valid at any State Park in the Colorado Desert District or the State Park System for the date of purchase.
IMPORTANT: Flooding in early September has left many washes, including Fish Creek, Coyote Canyon, and washes in both Badlands areas in bad shape, with washouts and deposits of sand, mud, and rocks. Use extreme caution, and avoid driving into mud! The majority of roads in the Park require a 4WD vehicle with high clearance. Road Conditions Update 11-12-17
WARNINGS RE. BOW WILLOW AND MT. PALM SPRINGS ROADS:
The access road to Bow Willow Campground is extremely sandy, washed out, and has difficult and rough terrain. It is not recommended that any vehicles (even 4x4 vehicles) travel this road until repaired. If you have any questions, please contact the Colorado Desert District Office at 760-767-4037.
The road to Mountain Palm Springs Camp is also extremely sandy in spots, and is not suitable for RVs or passenger cars. Do not attempt traveling this road without a high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicle, and be alert for sand traps.
Effective 11/10/2017-Coyote Canyon is open to the public.
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 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:
Cell Phone Use
First Aid Kit
For more tips for visiting the desert, check out our news release on Anza-Borrego Desert SP for more details.
Please click the links below for other activities being offered:
Visit Anza-Borrego Foundation's webpage for more exciting interpretive offerings.
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 Day-use parking fee Fridays - Sundays and Holidays), 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.
Borrego Springs is a Dark Sky Community, providing outstanding opportunities for exploring the star filled night sky.
The online video journal of the Colorado Desert District covering Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, Palomar Mountain State Park, Picacho State Recreation Area, Salton Sea State Recreation Area, and Indio Hills Palms Property.
360 videos may be viewed using Google Chrome or Firefox.