It’s Wildflower Season

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Borrego Wildflower taken by Darrell Parks (1)We have endured periodic showers over the past two months. Fortunately, most storms passed through during the night. Now, we are rewarded with wildflowers in our canyons and along our highways. They are all the more beautiful set against the green backdrop that will all too soon give way to our famous California golden hills. Enjoy this spring bounty during the rest of March.

Our local desert also received periodic rain over the past couple months. This has created one of the better desert wildflower viewing opportunities. Be sure to get out there over the next couple weeks before the desert dries up and another hot summer arrives.

Borrego Wildflower photo by Darrell Parks (2)If you have never driven out to see the wildflowers, set your expectations appropriately. You will not see an entire desert full of wildflowers as you drive down from the mountains. This is not a manicured botanical garden. Instead, you will see patches of various colors spread out around Borrego Springs. To help find the best locations and peak times, you can call the State Park’s Wildflower Hotline at 760-767-4684 for a recorded message or check out Carol Leigh’s Wildflower Hotsheet. You will receive the most up-to-date information when you arrive at the Visitors Center.

Visiting Borrego Springs as a day trip provides a nice change of pace and quiet serenity. Spring is the best time to visit not only for the wildflowers but to enjoy the comfortable temperatures as well. It is a nice chance to view rare geological formations and hike through California’s largest state park. There are good lunch spots in Borrego Springs and in the mountain town of Julian, which you will pass through on most routes into the desert.

If you want to stay overnight, there are limited, but widely varying, options from state park camp sites to the four diamond Borrego Ranch Resort & Spa (formerly La Casa del Zorro).

Directions to the Vistor Center using Google Maps. It is a two hour drive from downtown San Diego. For most routes, you will drive on two-lane roads through the mountainous Cleveland National Forest. As long as you don’t mind the curves and hills, it is an easy and scenic drive. Keep a keen eye out on the desert side of the mountains and you may be able to catch a rare glimpse of bighorn sheep.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park web site – The Visitor Center located in Borrego Springs is Open 9AM – 5PM October through May. There is no fee to enter the park.

Video Guide to Anza-Borrego State Park

Borrego Springs Visitors Guide – Lodging, dining, shopping and more from the Chamber of Commerce and Visitors’ Bureau

Wildflower Guide from the San Diego Union-Tribune. Take along their guide to the wild flowers you will encounter in the desert.

Hiking Recommendations from DesertUSA.com

Share comments on your experiences viewing the wildflowers and recommendations for trips out to the desert.

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