We visited Anza-Borrego Desert State Park for the first time on November 23-25, 2018. It is located southeast of Los Angeles, so after spending Thanksgiving in Burbank, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to then go to Anza-Borrego.
As someone recently said, the desert is not flat. This certainly is true in Anza-Borrego. In reading online about how to get to Anza-Borrego from Los Angeles, several people commented about the steepness and curves in taking route S22 to Borrego Palm Canyon campground, so we took the long way around through Palm Springs and route 86. I should have known better. We have been over the Sierra Nevada mountains through some gnarly mountain passes, and this was considerably shorter although it was about as steep as the mountain passes. It turned out fine though, as we made it to our campground just after dark and we easily got into our camp site 013.
The next day, we visited the visitor center and the volunteer suggested we hike to Big Spring along S22. That's how we know what S22 was like. We never found the trail to Big Spring and in doing more research, found there was no trail to it, but you have to just hike to it. Not our style of hiking. We went instead on the Borrego Palm Canyon Trail which goes to a large palm grove. It is a desert, so we hiked up a dry, dusty canyon and arrived at a palm grove oasis. You know why they are called oases when you walk through a barren land and there you are in a grove of palm trees.
The Slot is a short hike through a slot canyon. We drove up a dirt road to the trailhead, hiked down into the slot canyon and then walked through the canyon to the other end. In between, you are in a canyon with nearly vertical walls and narrow enough that I had to scrape my backpack on the canyon wall to get through the narrow part. Fortunately, there were not a lot of people in the canyon as it was hard to pass at some points. And no rain. I wouldn't want to be there when it rained.
We drove down a 4 wheel drive dirt road (yes, we finally have a 4 wheel drive high clearance vehicle, our Jeep Grand Cherokee) called Fonts Wash to Fonts Point. It overlooks the Borrego Badlands which is a desolate place not good for any people use.
The park also provided a brochure on the Erosion Road. This is the road going east from our campground along S22 to Salton City and route 86. This was the road we took as entered the park at night. What a difference daylight provided! We were able to see why someone had commented that the first lesson of the desert is that the desert is not flat. We saw mountains, washes, dry lakes, badlands, and more.
We explored just a little of Anza Borrego Desert State Park. There is much more to see, as this is California's largest state park.
Retirement is great. We bought a travel trailer and are exploring National Parks. (Actually, we bought one and sold it and bought a second one better suited to us. It happens...) And I have time to do some woodworking projects and things around the house. And now I have gotten interested in ham radio so there goes any free time.