But what’s there to see and do in California’s Secret Desert? Much more than meets the eye. Unlike other places you might visit, things don’t exactly jump out at you here. You can’t “do” it in a day. We like it that way – it means you can discover things in your own time. You learn our secrets one by one.
Start with the park. Most of us are still working on seeing the park. It’s so large, with so many different places and things to see, it’s a life’s work to see it all. And once you’ve seen, you’ll begin to appreciate the history and people that go with these places. How did people survive here? What were their lives like?
And then there’s all that life out there! Who would think a desert could support so many unique plants and critters? Some are easy to spot – cholla cactus everywhere; a grinning coyote loping down a back road, thinking of his supper; a group of busy ravens cawing raucously, some kind of argument, we imagine... Others take some effort – like finding the lone Elephant Tree perched on the lip of Torote Bowl, or a herd of Peninsular Bighorn Sheep far up Borrego Palm Canyon. All worth discovering, seeing.
And Borrego Springs, which at first glance seems small, over time opens up and yields its many secrets. Like Old Borego, the original center of town, now a picture window into a lost way of life. Or the many mid-century architectural gems tucked away here and there in the valley, reminders that people have been savoring our secrets for a long time now. And our newest visual experience – the many public sculptures created by artist Ricardo Beceda for art patron Dennis Avery, a longtime benefactor in our town.
Activities await! Whether you’re an “up before dawn and out on the trail” type, or a “let’s do something after a nice breakfast” type, we’ve got you covered.
Hiking and desert exploring are big on everyone’s list, both on foot and in vehicles. Highway-legal vehicles and bicycles have access to over 500 miles of park roads. Hikers can explore to their heart’s content. Follow a map and one of many excellent guidebooks, or grab some water and a compass and head off cross-country. Or go along on an organized walk, ride, or hike. You can even hire a desert tour service to take you deep into the park.
Cyclists from casual to super-serious enjoy great roads, great weather, and very little traffic. It’s easy to construct loop tours from 5 to 100 miles long, with or without hills. Speaking of hills, why not try Montezuma Grade just outside town – 3,500’ vertical gain in just 12 miles!
Birders can spot our unique local birds and many unusual migratory species, from cactus wrens and orioles to hawks and eagles and back again. Photographers and painters have always found our desert a fertile source for inspiring art – it’s easy to create great images with our clear air and stunning light.
If you enjoy naturalist programs, try some of the offerings available from Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association or from Anza-Borrego Desert State Park® and its partner, the Anza-Borrego Foundation Institute. Many knowledgeable volunteers and expert park personnel have created interesting and informative lectures and field programs that cover history, geology, paleontology, archaeology, plant & animal life, and much more.
And let’s not forget golf, tennis, bocce, and more... Check out all your options.
Sometimes just being, and not in motion, is the best of all activities. You know the feeling – recharge time... Or maybe you just love to spend time with others, and don’t need many activities. Perhaps a nap on a warm boulder in the middle of nowhere? Or an afternoon of quiet snoozing in the shade by a cool pool? Watching sunset in a comfy camp chair at Font’s Point?
You will enjoy tracking down the many Ricardo Berceda sculptures which are scattered about the valley. Thanks to the generous donation of land and for commissioning Ricardo, Dennis Avery has given our little town wonderful art work.
On a special note, the artist stayed at our Borrego Springs house for several months while he was installing his dramatic dragon.
California’s Secret Desert allows you to rest, recharge, and regroup. We offer plenty of inspiring ways and places to be, without requiring you to don a backpack to get there.
Do what I do, hang the hammock by the pool and read a book until the quiet warmth lures you to sleep.