Anza-Borrego Desert, and Rainbows!

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.

Borrego Springs

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!

Space 217 premium back-in site with wonderful views and neighbors.
Lily is the best lil desert doggy always on alert and monitoring.

Borrego Springs is an international dark sky community so the night sky was really phenomenal to see and capture.

I think the glow behind the mountains are lights from the Palm Desert cities, maybe.

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.

Christmas Eve double rainbow after a wet and windy night.

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.

Initial descent into the slot canyon.
I was in awe the entire time. Nature created this beauty.
It was really tight in certain spots and not for the claustrophobic or big boned 😂🤷.
Slot selfie!
Perspective video of the canyon depth.
Really cool rock formation creating an arch over the trail.

After a mile or so of meandering the slots, the canyon opened up into a large wash and rock valley.

The trail started to widen and release me from the slots.
Stunning valley and rock formations.
Desert Sphinx, maybe.

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.

Hard to tell in the pic but this tree or shrub was about 10 feet tall.
Just another fascinating desert tree/shrub.

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.

Fonts Point

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 4WD sand trail I conquered 😝.
View of the badlands from Fonts Point.

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.

Palm Canyon Trail Head into the rock canyon.
Video perspective of how cool the trail was.
Very interesting rock layers jutting up from the earth.

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 Palm Canyon.
The sudden river of water provided by the rain storm a few hours earlier.
Charred Palm Trees from an arson induced fire in January 2020.

The hike out was a different alternate trail and offered stunning views of the valley and more rainbows.

Yet another rainbow in the desert.
Sun breaking thru clouds and illuminating the cactus landscape.
Beaver Tail cactus. Really cool.
Natures bench along the trail.
View of the valley from the Palm Canyon alternate trail.

Galleta Meadows

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.

Thermal

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 little spec in the center of the pic is us!

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!

3 thoughts on “Anza-Borrego Desert, and Rainbows!

  1. Darcy December 31, 2021 / 12:53 pm

    Happy Mew Year Paul! Your adventure is actually happening daily. Love all the pics! Keep them coming.

    Like

  2. Debra+Huiras December 31, 2021 / 2:38 pm

    Love the pics Paul! The desert is so beautiful- the art was amazing too- can’t wait to see Palm Springs😘

    Like

  3. Sharon and Dorn January 3, 2022 / 10:20 pm

    Wish we were there to enjoy your adventures. The desert is our favorite area. We miss living there. The pictures are fantastic. Continue being safe on your adventures. Your Sunflowers

    Like

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