Anza-Borrego: Sun & sand… but not what you’re thinking

Seeking a brief day trip, last weekend we headed to Anza-Borrego Desert state park. I was in need of some shutter time with my Canon EOS Rebel and the desert bloom was just the ticket. Flowering plants typically bloom annually in the spring here, but every 10 to 20 years comes a “super bloom”… an abundance of flowering brought on by excessive winter rain. We packed snacks, drinks, and a lunch and hit the road.

“…in need of some shutter time with my Canon EOS Rebel…

First stop: The Anza-Borrego Desert Visitor Center ( just a 2-hour drive from downtown San Diego along Highway 79.


Anza-Borrego Desert Visitor Center

We arrived about noon. Signage makes it easy to find, but you won’t see the building or even the parking lot until you are almost on top of it. The visitor center, itself is built into the sloping landscape at the far western edge of the desert floor up against the mountains that define eastern San Diego county. On the ground, you’ll find restrooms, water fountains, a bit of shade and even a few picnic tables… if you arrive at the right time.

“… we’ll just say it was “literary creativity.

There were plenty of fellow-hikers, both amateur and serious… you know the type, easily spotted because they are decked out in the latest hi-tech gear. People of all ages had come out to enjoy the warming spring and the burst of color. There were groups of young friends, there were families with small children, there were grandparents, and there were dogs to share the experience with. Will anyone call me out for ending that sentence with a preposition? If so, we’ll just say it was “literary creativity”.

Short trails criss-cross the desert floor in front of the center. Signs indicate the common name and genus and species of each specimen. Inside, there are displays on the local flora, fauna, and geological and cultural significance of the area. You can pick up a map and get your questions answered by knowledgeable and friendly visitor center staff. Having collected the latest information on where to find wildflowers, we were off.

Next post: The Slot… a narrow winding slot canyon

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4 Replies to “Anza-Borrego: Sun & sand… but not what you’re thinking”

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