Anza-Borrego Desert State Park ®

High Temperature Advisory - Be prepared for higher temperatures with plenty of water.  See "Safety Tips" below.

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'..

Phone Number

(760) 767-4205

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: Sat, Sun & Holidays 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. June through September;
7 days a week 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. October through May


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.

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

Check in time is at 2:00pm. Please plan your travel times accordingly as there is not early check in available.  

Park Information

Do you love Anza-Borrego, and enjoy sharing your passion for the park with the visiting public? You might make a great Park Volunteer! Anza-Borrego is offering a training class this fall for those interested in becoming Visitor Center Volunteers. More information here

Volunteer Application Form



Borrego Palm Canyon camping sites will be available on a first-come, first-served basis from June 1 through September 30. Registration is self-pay (look for automated fee payment machine).

Tamarisk Grove campground is closed to all park visitors for its annual seasonal closure June 2-September 30. Campground gates will be closed at 2 PM on June 2, 2019

Vern Whitaker Horse Camp will be closed to all park visitors for its annual seasonal closure from May 31, 2019 to September 30, 2019.  Campground gates will be closed at 2 PM on May 31, 2019.

The upper portion of Coyote Canyon in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park from Anza to Third Crossing will be closed for its annual seasonal closure and will be closed to the public from June 1, 2019 to September 30, 2019.

The Visitor Center will be open Saturdays and Sundays only (plus July 4 and September 2) from June 1 through September 30.

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:


  • 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.


  • 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.


Visit Anza-Borrego Foundation's webpage for more exciting interpretive offerings.

Self-Guided Activities

Children's Outdoor Parks Passport

Junior Ranger Adventure Guide

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.


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

Roads and Trails:

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 4/23/19. 

COYOTE CANYON UPDATE: The Coyote Canyon Road is now open (4WD and All-Wheel-Drive), but is rough in some areas due to flooding.

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.

Per Title 14, CCR 4305 thru 4308 everything in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park® is protected including rocks, cultural artifacts, fossils, wildlife, plants and flowers.
Pets must not be left unattended. Dogs must be on a leash no longer than six feet and under immediate control of a person during the day. Dogs or cats must be in a tent or vehicle during nighttime hours. Dogs are not allowed cross-country or on hiking trails.
Ground fires are not permitted. A metal container must be used for all campfires. Campfires must not scar geological features such as rocks.
Firearms and fireworks are not permitted anywhere in the park.
All vehicles must be highway legal and remain on designated roads (See park map for designated roads).
The operation of powered unmanned aircraft, including drones, is prohibited in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.



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



360 videos
may be viewed using Google Chrome or Firefox.



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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