We kept motoring westward after visiting several corners of Phoenix. We’ve mentioned before that we’re big fans of staying at Escapees facilities when they’re around since they’re cheap, have full hookups, and usually have decent and cheap laundry. Unfortunately they don’t have much excitement so we usually keep our stays short.
We continued on to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in Borrego Springs, CA after two days of rest and relaxation at Kofa Ko-Op. This was our first stop in California! Borrego Springs is an interesting little touristy town right in the middle of the California desert. At the end of the road lies Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
We could only get three nights here but we managed to squeeze a good bit of fun into our short stay. Anza-Borrego was recently recognized as an International Dark Sky Park so we also spent a few evenings checking out the stars. They were some of the best we’ve ever seen.
The campground at ABDSP (Anza-Borrego Desert State Park) has two sections – one section (where we stayed) has full hookups but were pretty close together and had very little open area. The other section consisted of primitive sites – which are only for tents and small RVs – but are much cooler. They’re nestled in against the mountain with plenty of space in between. We’ve seen this pattern other places and it all depends on what your priorities are – full hookups and comfort or roughing it a bit in a cooler spot.
Anza-Borrego has great hiking trails. Probably their most popular hike – and most exciting for us – was the Palm Canyon Trail. The rocky desert trail crosses a beautiful spring-fed creek several times and leads to an actual desert oasis. A grove of native California fan palm trees awaits!
The park also boasts a population of endangered desert bighorn sheep. They’re some of the only animals that can handle the desert heat. One thing they do avoid is human contact – so they’re rarely seen! The park is actually named after the Spanish word for sheep – borrego. Hannah was lucky enough to spot some on the mountain while hiking Palm Canyon Trail.
We also hiked Hellhole Canyon Trail – which also had a spring-fed oasis and lots of desert vegetation. It actually rained a bit while we hiked this trail – weird to experience a brief rainstorm in the middle of the desert.
We also hiked our first slot canyon while visiting Anza-Borrego. Slot canyons are tons of fun to hike but can present challenges when you’re toting a toddler. Fortunately we’re flexible and agile enough to navigate slot canyons without issue. Slot canyons lie below ground; they’re easy to miss from above but a whole world awaits below!
Date visited: March 2018