Camping in Anza-Borrego State Park
San Diego › Borrego Palm Canyon Campground
Added by Morgan Scott
Largest State Park in all of California500 miles of trails and roadsDesert landscapes, wildlife (roadrunners, coyotes, and if you’re lucky, bighorn sheep)Ideal for families that want to get away from it allBorrego Palm Canyon has ~120 sites with other campgrounds throughout the park
With over 600,000 acres, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the largest state park in the contiguous United States. 500 miles of dirt roads, 12 wilderness areas and miles of hiking trails provide visitors with an unparalleled opportunity to experience the wonders of the Colorado Desert. The park is named after Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and the Spanish name borrego, or bighorn sheep. The park features washes, wildflowers, palm groves, cacti and sweeping vistas. Visitors may also have the chance to see roadrunner, golden eagles, kit foxes, mule deer and bighorn sheep as well as iguanas, chuckwallas and the red diamond rattlesnake.
Numerous roads will take you into this vast park. Consult a map before making travel plans to be sure you enter the desired part of the park. 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 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.Tip:
- October through April is the high season, so book early, book here
- The more adventurous can pitch their tents outside designated campgrounds
- Camping supplies
- Food (BBQ's available)
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping pad
- Hiking shoes
- Hiking clothes
- Fire wood
- Sunglasses/ hat
- Utility knife
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Camping, Hiking, Photography
Spring, Autumn, Winter
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ReviewsLeave a Review
Great Campsite, Rowdy Crowd
We camped during peak season in November and it was pretty crowded at the Borrego Palm Canyon site. There were several college-esque parties occurring throughout the night, so if you're looking for solitude, head out to the primitive campsites. There's plenty to do here and the 4x4 trails are awesome! Photo ops are amazing throughout the park whether it's day or night.
Great Developed Campsite
Anza Borrego State Park is simply the best. Lot's of good hiking and 4WD routes in the area. This campsite has showers and flush toilets for those who want a little more luxury when they camp. There is a great short hike in the campsite that takes you to a set of Borrego Palms. I normally don't stay here as I like the dispersed camping available in the South end of the park. However this a great a great family campground.
More Adventures Nearby
Hike the Ladder Canyon/Painted Canyon Loop
San Diego / Painted Canyon Trailhead
From Interstate 10, take State Highway 195 (Box Canyon Road) to Painted Canyon Road.
Visit the Anza Borrego Metal Sculptures
San Diego / Borrego Springs Sculptures
Here's a map I made that marks where most of the sculptures are (here).First, you enter the park and drive through the little city of Borrego Springs.