Lily and I arrived in the desert just before Christmas with much anticipation and curiosity and we were not disappointed. The drive over on Hwy 8 was really cool. The geography of the area is super rocky, hilly, and barren. We came pretty close to the Mexico border and even saw a glimpse of the border wall that separates the two countries from each other.
We spent Christmas here and it was an absolute perfect place to spend the holiday and time exploring and learning about the wonders of the desert. The Springs at Borrego was the resort we called home for a week and it was amazing. Wish I would have brought my golf clubs!
Borrego Springs is an international dark sky community so the night sky was really phenomenal to see and capture.
The weather was mostly fine with a few rogue rain storms and of course winds. After each rain storm the sky would explode with rainbows everywhere. It was spectacular.
The rain and wind did not last long and certainly did not detour me from jumping into the hiking trails that surrounded me. Every trail I would explore would have me pondering the wonder of nature and the beauty of the desert. Oh, and I did some off-roading in the truck. Having 4WD gave me a truly limitless experience.
The Slot Canyon
This was my first trail into the desert and it was by far my favorite. The slot was formed by water and wind over years and years of weather erosion. I descended into the canyon and just wandered completely alone for hours.
After a mile or so of meandering the slots, the canyon opened up into a large wash and rock valley.
There were so many interesting rock formations and ledges. I hiked to the top of the canyon to see what the view was like and listen to the wind and watch the clouds and storms off in the distance.
So that was the slot canyon and it was an awesome experience. I took a different trail back to the truck and observed some interesting desert flora.
I headed back to the Airstream and Lily to reflect on this awesome experience and go through the 300 pics I took during my hike.
This was my first chance to put the truck in 4WD and drive about 4 miles into the desert on a dry river wash to the edge of a point that overlooked the badlands. I was a little nervous because the sand was pretty deep but the truck didn’t even care. I had a lot of fun doing sand rooster tails and waving at the people in their rental cars spinning tires and going in circles.
The drive in and out was fun and I could not have done it without 4WD so that was just an awesome experience. And Lily didn’t seem to mind the roller coaster ride.
Palm Canyon Trail
Another mild rain storm rolled in and then rolled out while I was enjoying this hike to a Palm Tree oasis deep in a rock canyon. Alas, no dogs on this trail either, so I went it alone and Lily stayed home napping.
After a mile or so the desert canyon revealed the Palm Tree oasis. It was fascinating to see and there was water running from the rain storms. I passed some other hikers that said there was no water present a few hours earlier so it was pretty cool to know the water I was seeing came from higher above and had finally made its way down the rock canyons and into the valleys.
The hike out was a different alternate trail and offered stunning views of the valley and more rainbows.
Our last days in the desert were windy and cold so we drove around to see the metal sculptures that dot the landscape in various locations. As you can see, it was a stormy looking day so we only got a few pics before retreating back to the Airstream.
After a week of delicious happy hours, mediocre Mexican food, and dark sky star gazing, our time in Anza-Borrego came to and end but I wanted to try something cool before leaving the area. We spent one night on BLM land parked on the edge of a cliff overlooking the badlands and the Salton Sea. It was an absolutely crazy amazing scary experience that I will never forget.
The location was so perfect and unique I was actually considering spending a few days/nights but a wind hurricane started in the middle of the night and had me genuinely scared I would blow off the ledge. And it didn’t stop, it just kept blasting us all night into the next day. So, we stayed on schedule and headed out towards our next destination.
So that’s our time in the Anza-Borrego Desert. It was awesome and definitely left an impression on me. I’m glad I came when I did because despite the rain and wind I think it would be too hot in the Summer months to enjoy the things I did.
Next stop for us is Palm Springs. Happy New Year!