I took a Sunday drive to Borrego Springs and the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park this afternoon (5 March 2017) to check on the desert bloom after all the rain that we’ve had.
My first stop was the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park visitor center to learn the status of the bloom and where to best view some of the flowers. He said that we were approaching the height of the bloom, and that along Henderson Canyon Road east of Borrego Valley Road would be some of the better viewing. (There was plenty in bloom right around the visitor center, too.)
I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a botanist, so my apologies for not being able to identify the many different plants and flowers that I photographed. Several things surprised me.
First, was the size of some of the blossoms—they’re minuscule and you’ll need a sharp eye to see some of them. Second, sweet fragrance that they emitted (especially along Henderson Canyon Road) was truly pleasant (and I’m a guy who’s allergic to fragrances). Lastly, I had a preconceived notion that the desert floor would be awash in colorful blooms (akin to the poppy fields in the Wizard of Oz.) Perhaps that’s my naivete about desert blooms coming through and, perhaps there are areas of the park that are a little more like that, or perhaps it’s still a little early for that. I just didn’t see them. It’s California’s largest state park, so I’m guessing there are other areas within the park that offer a different experience.
If you’re at all interested in exploring the desert bloom, I’d get out there in the next week or so. There were plenty of flowers with buds that hadn’t popped open yet, but they will soon!
What You Need To Know
Location: Visitor Center: 200 Palm Canyon Drive, Borrego Springs, CA 92004
Hours: Visitor Center: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily
Cost: Free (although there is a day-use fee in some areas of the park)
Phone: (760) 767-4205
Tips: This was the most crowded that I’ve seen Borrego Springs in general and the visitor center in particular. Several law enforcement park rangers were directing traffic into the visitor center parking lot. I lucked out and got a space, but dozens of others had to park outside the park and walk to the visitor center. Be prepared for the desert climate. Today, it was in the mid-60s with a constant 20+ m.p.h. wind. Sunscreen and water are musts.
Click to see full-sized photos.
Visited: 5 March 2017