One of my first stops in California was exploring the Anza-Borrego Springs Area. Inside the Anza-Borrego State Park, there is over 600,000 acres to explore. The surround areas don't disappoint either.
This blog is FULL of never-before-seen pictures and tons of information to help you plan your trip to Anza. From hundreds of giant metal structures to hiking in the badlands to Jeeping through washes, this guide covers everything you need to know.
Hiking Through A Slot Canyon
There are tons of slot canyons throughout the Southwest. One of the most well known in Antelope Canyon, but they are actually scattered all over Arizona, California, and Utah especially.
This hike wasn't too long or strenuous, and it is quite incredible to see for yourself. Be sure to sign up for alerts to check for flash flood warnings before entering any slot canyon.
Rain water from a storm can be carried miles and miles away resulting in a flood in a matter of minutes or even seconds! You don't want to be in a canyon when water is rushing through it. Flash floods can come crashing in 12 feet high.
Flash floods kill more people each year than hurricanes, lightening or tornados. If you see storm clouds or hear water, find higher ground and exit the canyon immediately. It's never worth the risk! Just keep in mind a flash flood can happen any time of year. Keep an extra eye out June/July through September/October.
If slot canyons aren't your thing, don't worry. There is a lot of hiking you can do here in the Anza area. Be sure to bring extra water on your hike and let someone know where you went in case you get lost, especially if you're hiking on your own.
The desert is full of wildlife. You may even stumble upon bighorn sheep, snakes, coyotes, lizards, jackrabbits, and other wildlife during your hike depending on the time of year. Remember to give these creatures their space! (Your zoom lens will do just fine).
Another popular thing to do in the Southwest is offroad through washes during the dry months. For some washes, this is a seasonal activity that's avoided in the wetter months.
There's plenty of offroading in the park. Whether you're looking to hit washes, trails or even rip around the infamous Ocotillo Wells, you are sure to find what you're looking for.
Ocotillo Wells SVRA has tons of cool trails for people of all experience levels. It's one of the top offroading places in SoCal (let's not forget about Big Bear!). According to this some, it's the offroad capital of the world.
Jeeping through the washes in Anza was so much fun! These are pretty popular spots here in SoCal. I saw a ton of Jeeps, and got so many comments of excited Jeepers when I posted these pictures on Instagram. Who knew people knew these rock formations so well? 😂
One of the most recognizable trails boasts the anticline. You will stumble across this well-known formation of folded sandstone layers on the Split Mountain Gorge trail.
This crazy geological wonder was formed millions of years ago after an earthquake caused a landslide into what was then a shallow sea. This powerful landslide caused the warped sand on the seafloor into the layers you see above.
There are a ton of washes to Jeep through, just be sure to go prepared if you take some of the unmarked ones. We had quite the scare! My GPS failed when we were Jeeping through wash after wash and got lost. We stayed calm and managed to find our way out, but not everyone is as lucky. I now have multiple GPS devices and a much more detailed paper maps of the remote areas I explore.
Also be sure to bring a compass, emergency supplies for camping if needed, and tons of extra water, food and fuel in case you get stranded. If all else fails, you'll be glad you had these! When we were lost, we were so far out we were saw multiple coyotes running around the Jeep, as if sensing our distress. (We can laugh about it now). You won't want to spend the night surrounded by the pack, so always over-prepare. You won't be sorry.
One of the most scenic places in the park (in my opinion) is the badlands. Another amazing geology feat, the badlands feature sunken mesas and hills of dried mud. This whole view was actually formed by water!
There are a ton of different viewpoints to see the Badlands within the park, and you won't be disappointed at any of them. You can Jeep to some of them, but there are lots of hikes you can take for some amazing views. Whether you take a hike to check out the views or Jeep down Fonts Point, you'll love what you see.
Another cool place to take a quick hike to is the wind caves. These sandstone formations feature wind-eroded holes. Variously sized holes scatter this structure forming small "caves."
Not only is it a beautiful (and short) hike, it is super comfortable to chill in the only shade in the desert! These sandstone rock formations were carved by wind and water. Never seen anything like it!
If you think this is cool, definitely be sure to check out the mud caves. They are one of the most extensive mud cave systems in the world, containing 22 caves and 9 slot canyons.
There is so much to do in Anza you could come here time and time again and always see something new. From Mud Caves to a Dry Lake, you can really find it all. Speaking of which....
Now, this is probably what you all came for... One of the most unique spots in the Anza is Galleta Meadows. This amazing place features hundreds of giant metal sculptures of various creatures. It's incredible! Ill let the pictures speak for themselves: