Blogs California

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Day Trip

I grew up in the Coachella Valley and have never been to Anza-Borrego, nor did I know so many incredible things were out there. We came across a few social media posts showcasing epic adventures and decided to start researching and planning a day trip. Here’s a guide to all we managed to pack into one fun-filled day!


Anza-Borrego is located in Southern California, east of San Diego, south of Palm Springs, and west of the Salton Sea. If you’re familiar with off-roading, it’s just minutes away from Ocotillo Wells.


Summers are very hot and dry with temperates often in the triple digits. Fall and spring temperates usually range from the mid-70’s to low-90’s and winter temperates tend to be chilly in the mornings (low 40’s) and perfect 70’s in the afternoons with occasional rain. We visited at the end of January and experienced great weather. If you want to see the wildflowers in full bloom, visit end of February through March depending on how much rain the area has had that winter!

Day Trip Itinerary
Slot Canyons

We began our day bright and early on a Saturday morning in January. We arrived at the slots around 8:30AM. We read a recommendation to start with the slots early morning as traffic through the canyon gets busier come late morning. The slots reminded me of a less bright orange/red version of Antelope Canyon; truly a hidden gem in the middle of the desert

  • Trailhead address: Borrego Mountain Wash, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs, CA 92004
  • Distance: 1 mile out & back (or 2.2 miles if you do the full loop)
  • Difficulty: Easy
    Total Ascent: 100 feet (or 330 feet if you do the full loop)
  • There’s a $10 cash only parking fee
  • There are 2 restrooms at the parking lot
  • No dogs allowed
Wind Caves

After Slot Canyon, we headed over to the Wind Caves. Wind Cave Trail is another short hike, about 1.25 miles round trip, taking you to these incredible rock formations with big holes that you can actually climb through. To get to the trail, you’re require to drive on a dirt road for about 4 miles. You will need a vehicle with 4-wheel drive. We drove in a Kia with 4WD and it was still very rocky and bumpy in some areas.

  • Trailhead address: Fish Creek Wash, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs, CA 92004
  • Distance: 1.25 miles out & back
  • Difficulty: Easy
    Total Ascent: 250 feet
  • Free parking
  • No dogs allowed
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Borrego Palm Canyon Trail

After the wind caves, we headed for our final hike of the morning, Borrego Palm Canyon Trail. If you ‘re familiar with Palm Springs, this trail, just like its name suggests, reminds me a lot of the Palm Canyon trail in Indian Canyons. It takes you to a neat palm oasis in the middle of the desert. My mom printed out this numbered guide that corresponded with 15 numbered markers along the trail that gave information on the surrounding area, which was fun to follow along with. To reach the trailhead, you must drive through the entrance of Borrego Palm Canyon Campground, which requires a $10 dollar fee. If you’ve already paid at the Slot Canyons, show the ranger and they’ll provide you with a pass, no extra charge.

  • Trailhead address: Borrego Palm Canyon Campground, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs, CA 92004
  • Distance: 3 miles out & back
  • Difficulty: Rate moderate
    Total Ascent: 300 feet
  • 10 dollar parking fee
  • No dogs allowed
Lunch in Town

After our final hike of the day we head to the actual town of Borrego Springs to have lunch. We ate at a place called Carlee’s I believe?

Galleta Meadows

From there, we then drove over to the famous sculptures most often seen in pictures of Anza-Borrego. Artist/welder Ricardo Breceda, crafted over 130 metal sculptures scattered around the area. Interesting to say the least.

Fonts Point Overlook

Finally, we ended the day with an incredible view at Fonts Point Overlook. We almost missed it because again it required another 4 miles of off-roading and the directions we had were not correct. We had given up and were driving home when we saw the correct turn off sign and decided to go for it. Wow, was it so worth it. Here you’ll find an incredible overlook into the Borrego Badlands. People also say sunrise and sunset are spectacular there.

  • Address: From Christmas Circle in Anza Borrego, head out on S-22 for ten miles. Right after the 29-mile marker, you will see a dirt road on the right and a sign that says Font’s Point, 4 miles. This is where you will turn and start the off-roading to Font’s Point. 
  • Distance: Requires a 4 mile drive on a dirt road to get there
  • 4WD Needed
  • Free
  • Dog-Friendly

We really managed to pack in just about everything there is to see and do in Anza-Borrego in one day. Such a fun day trip!

As always, travel on my friends.