SEARCHING FOR SPRING, PART 3: Anza Borrego Desert State Park
Wildflowers are erupting all over California this year, thanks in great part to the rains that are finally coming and coming—as well as intermittent days of unseasonably warm weather. Super Blooms are being touted in many places. One that was praised early in March for its Super Bloom was Anza Borrego Desert State Park, not far from San Diego. By the time I was able to get down there, I expected the flowers would be starting to wane, but I was hoping there would still be some impressive color.
I was not disappointed.
Anza Borrego Desert State Park is located within the Colorado Desert Region and is comprised of 600,000 acres. The park stretches across three counties and is the largest in California as well as the second largest in the contiguous United States. It offers extensive hiking trails as well as some paved and many unpaved roads that help visitors find its hidden treasures. To see the range of places to visit and potential sights to see explore these websites.
I kept my visit simple, driving in from the south on CA 79-S, eventually traveling on Montezuma Valley Rd. and Palm Canyon Rd. My path led me up about 2400 feet over a little mountain range and then back down about 2000 feet to the little town of Borrego Springs that sits in the middle of the extensive state park. The vistas, even without flowers, were impressive.
I felt I was on some version of the Yellow Brick Road since the way was lined with yellow for what seemed like miles.
I visited on a Tuesday, and it was busy! I am thrilled that so many people want to see wildflowers, but I really prefer them not to visit when I do. (Others never cooperate on this point—drats!) I never made it to the Visitor Center because it looked to be about an hour wait just to be able to look for a parking place. I don’t do that sort of thing! I also did not wander onto hiking trails. But sticking to the scenic driving route helped me find some great blooms—so I was very happy.
The most prevalent flowers were the yellow Brittlebrush as shown above, but others were evident as well.
My favorites are the cactus that were in bloom: The red bloom of the Beavertail cactus, the green spine and red plume of the Ocotillo, and the burgeoning new spines of the Chollo in preparation for its blossoms.