A Weekend in Borrego Springs

Our trips to Borrego Springs start at Dudley's Bakery in Santa Ysabel.  We had coffee, pastries and bought a loaf of pecan bread, just in cause.  From there, we drove to Borrego Springs, via S22.  The view into the valley is always spectacular with Salton Sea clear in the distance.  

We stopped first at the Visitors Center for the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.  This is a nice center with a small museum, friendly rangers, restrooms and a small garden with information about the local plants.  I fractured the top of my tibia less than a year ago, so I can't do any real hiking yet.  We walked the .6 mile, paved path from the Center to the campground.  At the end of the path, there is a wide, sandy trail to the start of the Palm Canyon Trail.  At the head of the trail there are picnic benches, water fountains and restrooms.  (There is also a short trail to the left, the Panorama Trail, that leads to a small hill with a view of the valley.). We walked about .25 mile down the main trail to see the small creek formed by the recent rains.

We always stay at one of the casitas at Casa del Zorro.  This is a nice resort with a full-service restaurant, bar, pools, yoga classes, pickleball courts and more.  Our casita was a very nice two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit with a kitchenette and a private spa.

                                                        Running water in the desert

                                                        Sea Bass from Casa del Zorro

The next day, we went to the annual Garden Tour put on by the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association.  This tour was of five homes with an emphasis on the use of native plants in the landscape.  The organization has a garden, plant shop and bookstore near Christmas Circle and organizes tours and hikes.

                                                        This home features a smoke tree as a focal point at the front door

In the afternoon, we took a 2-1/2 hour private tour with California Overlands Desert Excursions.  This is our second outing with them.  I had some specific destinations in mind and because the vehicle was a jeep, it was much easier for me to manage getting in and out.  It was fun!  We went to the Calcite Mine Trail, South Palm Wash and Font's Point.  These are challenging destination without 4WD or the ability to hike on rough terrain.  Our guide, Mark, knew a lot about the plant life and geology.  He took us down some gnarly roads, so it was very exciting, as well.  It cost $350 and I highly recommend this experience.  (They also offer group tours and camping with star gazing.). The Anza-Borrego State Park is enormous and it is hard to imagine running out of places to visit.

                                                An overview of the Badlands and Salton Sea from Font's Point

                                                        This ocotillo is the definition of stubborn

On our last day, we looked at the wildflowers along Henderson Canyon Road.  You can just pull over and look at them.  The midpoint of the road, on the side with the mountain has the best viewing.

                                             Purple verbena and yellow buttercups




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