CA – Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Wildflowers Gone Wild

This was my first visit to the Borrego Springs area and my timing couldn’t have been more perfect for capturing the wildflower explosion as well as watch the blooms progress. This 650,000 acre park feels a bit overwhelming initially so it’s good to stop at the visitor center or the park store in “The Mall” to gather some resources. They are great about providing recommended wildflower viewing areas based on currently bloom reports.

I spent my first night in Coyote Canyon and was happy to witness this sunset.

Firsts for me:

(1) Blooming ocotillo
(2) Blooming century plant

(3) Blooming desert lily

(4) Ghost flower
(5) Spanish Needles

Other blooms that caught my attention:

Dune Evening Primrose and Sand Verbena

Barrel Cactus

Beavertail Cactus

Desert Star

Bigelow’s Monkey Flower

Brown-Eyed Primose

Phacelia. I was in the midst of a butterfly migration and they were everywhere but so busy or in such a rush it was hard to get good photos.

Lupine and either Desert Sunflower or Dandelion being visited by one of the many butterflies.

California Poppy (after a storm)

Desert Chicory

Experiencing a spring storm was a highlight especially catching rain drops on the flowers the next morning, seeing snow on the surrounding mountains and water in the normally dry washes.

Massive splashes of color are one of my favorites.

The foothills were just starting to glow with color as I turned my sights elsewhere. It was getting a bit crowded for me and I was growing tired of the wind.

Adventure Date(s):

  • March 7-14, 2019


  • For park and area information, go to the Anza Borrego State Park store in “The Mall” in Borrego Springs. They will give you the same information as the visitor center which costs $10 to park. Save that fee until you are ready to spend a day in that particular area of the park hiking the associated trails. There is no fee elsewhere in this state park.
  • Dispersed camping is readily available. Ask for map at the park store or visitor center.
  • If you end up in Ocotillo Wells, ask about the showers. It was a great option and $1 for 4 minutes.
  • The library in Borrego Springs is the best small town library I’ve visited. It’s an extension of San Diego and has the latest technology. They leave the WiFi on and have a back patio for use when they are closed. Another free WiFi option is in Christmas Circle, which includes restrooms, shade, picnic tables, charging outlets, etc.
  • You can refill gallons of water for 30 cents at Center Market.
  • Ocotillo Wells has an amazing educational center, all for free including a wildflower guide.



Photo Credit: Lady on a Rock (aka Rockin’)

15 thoughts on “CA – Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Wildflowers Gone Wild

  1. Amazing! Thanks for the wonderful photos of the desert in bloom. By the way, the butterflies are migrating American painted ladies. Loved that last photo of the photographer!

  2. Ditto Greg’s thoughts. I might just be looking at this area early next year. Very good to know about the fees and the wifi. I still have to figure out how to use my phone for all them newfangled things though. (I missed shoelace-tying week in kindergarten when I went away to have my tonsils out, and I’ve been trying to catch up ever since.)

    • I haven’t taken time to add that to my knowledge base yet. I’ve been mostly focused on learning about wildflowers and geology. This aging brain thinks it’s full often and rejects new info. I’ve been working on data dump of useless info. LOL

  3. Primitive camped many times in the deserts while living in LA as a boy. I remember being out in Anza Borrego for a few trips. The one thing that stands out was the wind. Never seemed to stop and strong enough to go in the car or tent to eat dinner. Sand in your food takes away the appetite. If you are still down there check out box canyon road between Mecca, CA and Interstate 10. Lots of dispersed camping, Utah’ish mud slot canyons to hike thru, and an oasis. Check out the Mecca hills website. Be safe.

  4. Pingback: Spring Jaunt 2019 . . . 92 days, 5 states, 7000 miles, 36 blog posts – Jan's Jaunts and Jabberings

Thoughts? Questions? Comments? Broken Links? I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s