10 Ways to Enjoy Anza Borrego, California

  1. Set your alarm to rise early. Anza Borrego is desert country. If you’re the active sort, rising early maximizes your time in more comfortable and potentially safer temperatures. Get after it and do it early. Borrego-Desert-2
  2. Listen to Bird Song from Bed. When birds migrate towards the north from South America and Mexico, many linger in Anza Borrego during the early spring months. Anza Borrego comes alive with ornithological wonder about an hour before sunrise and continues on past sunrise. My favorite is making pre-dawn coffee, sitting in a patio chair and watching the sun and bird song come to life. Borrego-Desert-1
  3. Keep that scurvy away and get down with some local citrus. Peel and eat, drink and mix citrus any way you can. The grapefruit is a special treat. When hiking, I like to pack a grapefruit for a mid-way snack. They are durable, sweet, juicy, grown locally and contrast the desert setting in a pleasant way when hiking. Borrego Springs has nice farmers market every Friday from November through June. Borrego-Mine-Wash-3
  4. Lay out like a lizard. If out in the desert, take special notice of the time weathered boulders. Next, tune into the changes in temperature and humidity throughout the day. There is often a moment (a sweet spot) between the softer temperatures of the morning and the all-out and unrelenting heat of the afternoon. Find a boulder big enough to lay upon and relish that mid-morning sun. Borrego-Mine-Wash
  5. Get scientific and learn your cacti and desert animal species. In the harsh desert environment, all living things are well adapted to their environment. As a result, many plants are armed with various types of spines, barbs and needles. Some animals such as the Mojave Rattlesnake are especially dangerous. Learning about these creatures before or during your trip can make it more enjoyable and perhaps more safe. Take a guided hike with Karyn Sauber, a local and professional naturalist ( email her @ peanut4ranger@hotmail.com ). Stop by or call the Anza Borrego Desert Natural History Association ( http://www.abdnha.org ) ask questions and purchase some maps and books. Borrego-Indian-Head
  6. Put on your best flip flops, shorts, shirt and sunglasses and enjoy the desert art scene. If driving into Borrego Springs, you may notice art in some unusual places. If you’re lucky enough to be in the area during the “Circle of Art” event ( http://www.circle-of-art.org ) artists gather from all over to show their work. Borrego is also home to some amazing home grown artists such as Armand Vallee (http://www.valleeart.com ). Vallee is one of my all time favorite painters and perhaps you’ll find one of your own. Borrego-Desert-Clouds
  7. Put your leather on and enjoy the old biker bar; Carlee’s. It’s a classic watering hole complete with bar food and karaoke.Hedge-Hog-Cactus
  1. Flash to the past with the Kumeyaay Indians. Anza Borrego was part of their old territory. Remnants of their way of life can be seen with curious eyes, but make sure to not take or move any artifacts you happen to find. An artifacts story resides within its location and when moved destroys the story (not to mention totally selfish and illegal). There are numerous websites outlining their current way of life and their past ( http://www.kumeyaay.com ).Borrego-Desert-Sunrise
  2. Seek out cooler temperatures. Look for the Jeffery Pine North and West of Anza Borrego if it’s too hot. Jeffery Pine look similar to Ponderosa Pine, but have some distinct differences such as a much larger cone. In places like the Laguna Mountains, the Acorn Woodpecker has a special relationship with the Jeffery Pine. If you’re lucky, perhaps you’ll discover first hand how awesome that relationship is.Laguna-Mountains
  3. Take a mid-day siesta, conserving energy to become nocturnal. Desert country is hot, dry, windy and doesn’t offer much in the way of cover. During the middle of the day most living things hide out and so should you. When nightfall comes, the desert comes alive. Those choosing to stay up may experience a smorgasbord of coyote song, palm trees dancing in the breeze and a star show that is sure to humble. Borrego Springs is a participant in the International Dark Skies Community effort ( http://www.darksky.org/night-sky-conservation/88-international-dark-sky-communities ). Residents of the area have worked diligently to protect the night skies through policy and financial investment. All who visit the area are benefactors of the Dark Skies initiative. Sit back, enjoy a beverage and enjoy the show. Borrego-Desert-Vallecito-Mountains

To view the full gallery please click on any of the photo thumbnails below.



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