Location: Anza-Borrego Desert (100 Miles / 2.25 Hours East of San Diego Coastal Areas)
Best Time to Visit: September – May
Features: Spectacular Scenic Vistas; Hiking
Highlights for Borrego Badlands: Spectacular views of the most diverse desert landscape in the world can be experienced in the Borrego Badlands. The Fonts Point overlook in this area is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Anza-Borrego Desert. Words cannot capture the views you will experience. For a better idea, take a look at this video from the DesertUSA web site.
Another interesting attraction in the Borrego Badlands is the Pumpkin Patch. Here you will see pumpkin size rocks that developed over millions of years when sand collected and then hardened around seashells, insects, and other small items that used to litter the landscape. For a better idea, check out this Borrego Badlands video, also from the DesertUSA web site.
The Borrego Badlands are about 10 miles east of Borrego Springs, where many visitors stop for lunch and engage in other desert activities, such as visiting the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitors Center.
Hiking – Afoot & Afield in San Diego County by Jerry Schad provides detailed hikes for the Borrego Badlands. You will need a 4WD Vehicle to access the hiking trails in this area. The book also recommends that even more impressive views can be enjoyed if you take one of the trails near the Fonts Point parking area. However, you need to be very careful around the cliffs along these trails.
Information on Visiting the Borrego Badlands
Directions from Google Maps to the Borrego Badlands on Borrego Salton Seaway (S-22). You will see a sign for Fonts Point near mile marker 29. You only want to leave S-22 with a 4WD. The parking lot for Fonts Point overlook is 4 miles south of the S-22.
Traffic – Most routes to the Borrego Badlands take you through the San Diego Mountains before heading down to the desert floor, just west of Borrego Springs. The two-lane roads through the mountains and into the desert are curvy and hilly. Slower traffic should pull over to allow faster traffic to pass. Sometimes, there is snow in the mountains near Julian and on occasion, snow chains are required.
Transit - There are no transit options that provide regular service into the desert.
Weather – The Desert’s high temperatures average over 100 degrees from June through September. Most tourists visit during the winter months when you still need to bring a lot of water, even if you are not planning on any strenuous activity. Learn more about weather in the San Diego Desert and check the current Weather Forecast for the San Diego Mountains and Desert.
Related Attractions – You may also be interested in visiting the Carrizo Badlands, which is south of Borrego Springs, and offers more spectacular views of the desert landscape.