CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION
Divisions of Boating and Waterways, Historic Preservation and Off-Highway Vehicles
For Immediate Release: 2/23/2018
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Wildflower Bloom Expected to be Limited This Spring
Norb Ruhmke I Superintendent III I (760) 767-4037
SACRAMENTO, Calif., - California State Parks announced today that this year’s wildflower bloom at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (Anza-Borrego) is expected to be limited. This year’s winter storms have brought less than an inch of rainfall compared to last year’s 6.6 inches that brought the spectacular wildflower bloom. The unique combination of sun, rain, temperature and wind define the stage for the springtime arrival of wildflowers. Last year, thousands visited Anza-Borrego to view the most dramatic bloom seen in nearly 20 years.
Even without a wildflower bloom, California’s largest state park is a popular tourist destination. Located in the eastern side of San Diego County, with portions extending east into Imperial County and north into Riverside County, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park offers 500 miles of dirt roads, 12 wilderness areas and many miles of hiking trails. A vast and diverse mixture of geology features, such as the Truckhaven Rocks and Carrizo Badlands Overlook, reveal a unique charm and beauty of the desert.
During the spring season, Anza-Borrego is an excellent time for birdwatching hummingbirds, finches and hawks that migrate through the desert. There are also other opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts such night sky viewing, camping, and hiking through easy and moderate trails like Bill Kenyon Overlook and the Cactus Loop. Anza-Borrego Foundation, the official partner of the park, also has several activities this spring, such as the Anza-Borrego: In Focus lectures and field trips, spring plant walks led by the botany volunteers and other educational programs.
The desert is a very beautiful and exciting place, but it can also be very unpredictable and dangerous. Weather in this region is extremely varied, where temperatures can be high, humidity often low and clear deep blue sky. During the spring season, temperatures can range from mid 80s to high 110s.
Whether you are viewing wildflowers or vegetation, hiking, or camping, it is important for visitors to plan their outdoor adventure in the 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 this iconic landscape.
Below you will find information on how to safely enjoy the park and how to keep the outdoors natural:
- Park in designated areas.
- Have a proper vehicle for your outdoor desert activities to be able to navigate through rough roads. The park offers five hundred miles of dirt roads.
- Make sure to fill up your car’s gas tank. Depending on your location, the nearest town with amenities can be remote.
Cell Phone Use
- Cell phone coverage is spotty or nonexistent.
- Have an alternative way to communicate if there is an emergency.
- Bring a hard-copy map and know your route before leaving home. If possible, have a GPS unit.
First Aid Kit
- Bring a first aid kit with you.
- Become familiar with your kit and inspect it for required content.
- Pack prescription drugs if you have any medical conditions.
Leave an itinerary of your trip with a family member or friend with information such as:
- Name and age of hikers/campers.
- Level of outdoor experience.
- Trailhead or campsite name and location.
- Time of departure and expected return.
- Information about your gear such as tent color, outwear color and vehicle make, model, color and license plate.
Wildflowers, Vegetation and Wildlife
- Stay on designated trails. Wildflowers and vegetation are an integral part of the park’s ecosystem and natural community. As such, federal, state and park laws protect them.
- Take pictures from a distance, do not disturb them or their natural habitat.
- Vegetation that you may encounter includes pinon pines, junipers, wildflowers (during the spring), yucca, cholla and barrel cactus. Be aware most of these plants protect themselves with thorns or spines.
- Make sure to have plenty of water and food. Drink plenty of water when actively hiking to avoid dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
- Check Weather. Weather can change instantly.
- Bring sunscreen and use it.
- Dress appropriately. Bring layers of clothing. Wear appropriate shoes such as hiking boots and close-toed shoes.
- Beware of wildlife. Watch them from a distance.
For more information about the current wildflower season and the park, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/anzaborrego. To learn more about Anza-Borrego Foundation’s activities, visit their website at www.theabf.org.
California State Parks Mission
To provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.