The Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is one of my favorite places to stay and explore in all of Southern California. It makes a perfect place to visit for any van or RV nomad looking to explore the desert in SoCal. The park offers wildlife, camping, boondocking, hiking, and exploration.
The Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is my favorite place to visit in the winter months. The park is located within the Colorado Desert of southern California and Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza. As the largest state park in California, it offers a wide variety of adventures, including hiking, star gazing, off-roading, and camping.
Park Map: Anza- Borrego Desert State Park Map
When to Visit
The best time to visit the park is from October Thru April. This is when the temperatures are the mildest ranging from lowest in the 30s to highs in the 80s. The summer temperatures are scorching, so it’s best to avoid this time.
The small town of Borrego Springs is the gateway to the Anza-Borrego State Park. The town is the location of the main park visitor center and campground and is a good base camp for any exploration into the park. THe town has all the supplies you need.
Visit: Borrego Springs
There are a variety of hiking locations throughout the park. The hikes range from easy to extremely hard. Always make sure you bring plenty of water and are dressed appropriately. A few of the best hikes are:
There are several campgrounds and boondocking locations in and around the park. The main campgrounds are:
- Borrego Palms
- Agua Caliente County Park
- Vallecito County Park
- Yaqui Pass & Tamarisk Grove
- a few private campgrounds
There are a lot of boondocking locations in and around the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The most popular boondocking location is Clear Lake. Clear Lake is a massive dry lake located about 25 minutes east of Borrego Springs, accessed by Rockhouse Trail Road off State Route 22.
There are multiple small boondocking campgrounds off State Route 22. A few of them include:
- Blair Valley: Off County Road S2 and a mile east of Shelter Valley. Has pit toilets.
- Slot Canyon: Popular for hikers going to the slot canyon
- Peg Leg Road: BLM land outside the park.
- Carrizo Valley: BLM land outside the park along with County Road S2.
- Scissors Crossing: Located at the intersection with County Road S2 and State Highway 78. There is a parking lot for hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).
It’s a privilege to have Anza-Borrego Desert State Park for our enjoyment, so please practice Leave No Trace principles.