Borrego Palm Canyon is a stunning 3 mile hike in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Gorgeous rocky waterfalls surround this lush Palm Oasis, the largest in the park while more than 80 migratory birds use it as a watering hole alongside Desert Bighorn Sheep. Visit after a rain for gushing falls and cooler weather.
Sunrise Scenic Byway is San Diego's most scenic drive. At 24 miles, this drive winds 6,000 feet high through Cleveland National Forest and Laguna Mountain Recreation Area with green meadows, forested peaks and stunning desert vistas that overlook Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Enjoy Fall colors, Winter snow and Spring wildflowers making it a four season destination.
Stonewall Peak in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is one of the highest peaks in San Diego at 5,730 feet. A four mile out and back trail takes you to the summit and provides sweeping 360 degree views of the Laguna Mountains, Palomar Mountain, San Jacinto Peak, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and the Salton Sea. This moderate trail climbs 1,000 feet and begins at Paso Picacho. The final ascent includes a mild sense of acrophobia with hand rails which adds to the adventure.
Borrego Springs is a beautiful desert community surrounded by Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Named after the town's most famous residents, Borrego means 'bighorn sheep' in Spanish. The town is an International Dark Sky Community, one of only a few in the country, making it the perfect place to watch the stars and a meteor shower. If winter rains allow, springtime brings the most stunning desert bloom on the continent with miles of explosive bloom.
In present day Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Box Canyon marks what was once the only year-round route into California. The Southern Emigrant Trail became the first official road and wagon route in 1847. Pioneers had to use hand tools to carve along the canyon walls to create the trail. Today, a hike into the canyon will take you back to discover the rough terrain encountered by early settlers.
Garnet Peak is the crown jewel of San Diego. Located along the Sunrise Highway in Cleveland National Forest, this 6,000 foot peak offers jaw-dropping 360 degree views of Anza Borrego Desert State Park, beautiful alpine forest mountain terrain and even the ocean 50 miles away on a clear day. A moderate 2.2 round trip hike take you to the top and past the Pacific Crest Trail.
Directly along the historic Great Southern Overland Stage Route lies a magnificent valley known as Shelter Valley or geologically, Earthquake Valley. This desert valley, once home to the Kumeyaay Native Americans, is one of the most beautiful spots in all of Southern California. It is protected by Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and the Pacific Crest Trail passes through. Spring wildflowers dot the ground while mountains rise majestically in the background. With its clean air, light streams down and paints the ground and makes it the perfect spot for stargazing at night.
One of the most beautiful views in Southern California is Kwaaymii Point. Located on the Sunrise Highway in the Laguna Mountains, the point offers a jaw-dropping vista of the Colorado Desert from a mile high in Cleveland National Forest. The Pacific Crest Trail also passes this point and offers great hiking. A group of Kumeyaay Native Americans called the Kwaaymii have called this land home for thousands of years.
The Borrego Badlands in Anza Borrego Desert State Park are a wonder. Miles and miles of desert vista await among rugged golden canyons. The water sculpted lands are a fossil paradise where sea turtles, sharks, bears, ground sloths and camels once lived.
The Kumeyaay Village Site is located in Anza Borrego Desert State Park. Kumeyaay Native Americans inhabited these beautiful boulders and caves in the winter months for thousands of years. They survived off of plants, jackrabbits and bighorn sheep. The site can be found right off Highway 78 with a short drive through Mine Wash. Though a gravel wash road, it is usually passable for most vehicles.