Anza-Borrego Wildflowers Camping Trip
March 18-20, 2016

Gazing out across the great California Desert, it’s easy to believe not much is shaking in that vast, arid landscape. But look a little closer and you will be amazed at the diversity of life around you. As author Edward Maddin Ainsworth observed, 'At a casual glance, nothing seemed to live here except the few plants which had clawed deep into the earth, defying wind and heat alike…But this was deceptive. The desert nurtured a whole world of living things of its own'. At no time are these words more true than at springtime in the great Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. After the rains of the winter storms have soaked into the parched earth and the warmer spring sun begins to warm things up, a miracle happens. For a few weeks between late February and mid-March, a symphony bursts forth from the desert floor, a symphony of color and vibrancy. Wildflowers make their appearance, cacti bloom and, for a moment, time stands still.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the largest state park in California. Five hundred miles of dirt roads, 12 wilderness areas and many miles of hiking trails provide visitors with an unparalleled opportunity to experience the wonders of the California Desert. Join us for a weekend car camping to this beautiful state park. It is located between San Diego and Palm Springs and takes about 3 hours from Los Angeles without traffic. We have two group campsites, which has restrooms and showers nearby. You just need a bring your tent, sleeping bag and other camping essentials. We will bring all the cooking equipment and provide all the meals. The average temperatures are 70F during the day and 50F at night, but be prepared for anything. There will be plenty of sight seeing and hiking to find wildflowers.

HighlightsGeneral ItineraryCancellation Policy
Wildflowers draw crowds of visitors to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Who wouldn’t want to see the desert come alive with vibrant tapestries of colors? At peak bloom, which lasts just a couple of weeks, the desert floor transforms into a dazzling tableau with carpets of yellow, red, and purple. Each year's bloom is unique in its variety, profusion, and timing. From late February through April you can find blossoms on the desert floor and at higher elevations in the park. Too little rain provides a poor climate for seed germination. Too much rain, and the seeds could rot or be washed away. Showers too early or too late in the season may not help the flowers bloom. Temperature is also critical. Warm days are a good indicator of a full bloom ahead. If the sun gets too hot though, (over 85° in February & March) the seeds may become parched and seedlings scorched. Cool nights can assist flower seedlings by slowing the growth of competitors like grasses and mustards. However, very cold temperatures mean bad news for blossoms. Along with all of these factors, the wildflowers must contend with the desert winds. Hot, arid winds may dry out the seeds before they have a chance to grow. High winds during the bloom may scatter the pollen before the next year's seeds have been produced.

Hellhole Canyon
Hellhole Canyon is backed up against the San Ysidro Mountains just southwest of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center in Borrego Springs. The ominously named canyon is home to Maidenhair Falls, a seasonal 20-foot waterfall that makes a refreshing hiking destination on a hot day in the California desert. If you are visiting the park in early spring, or any time rains bring water to Hellhole Canyon, Maidenhair Falls should be on your itinerary. The trail to the mouth of the canyon is wide and well maintained, but when the canyon narrows, rock scrambling becomes mandatory and there is only a faint path to follow to the top of this 5.5-mile round trip hike with 1,000 feet of elevation gain.

Borrego Palm Canyon
Borrego Palm Canyon is the most popular trail in California's largest state park. It leads to the third-largest palm oasis in California, which was the first site sought for a desert state park back in the 1920s. It’s a beautiful, well-watered oasis, tucked away in a rocky V-shaped gorge. If you're lucky, you may glimpse a bighorn sheep, in a canyon vegetated by California's only native species of palm. The park receives many visitors due to its proximity to the metropolises of Southern California, and the trail is relatively easy to access and hike (three miles round trip with 600' elevation gain). The trail visits the first palm grove and a waterfall. A longer option takes you exploring farther up-canyon. During the spring wildflower season, this trail is not the place to "get away from it all." However, the hike is rewarding in may ways: a multitude of waypoints through which to explore the natural history and minimal effort for outstanding natural values.

Make Reservation
Land package: $99
Departing from Los Angeles, CA
Trip Includes
Campsite; happy hour on Friday evening, breakfast, sack lunch and BBQ on Saturday with breakfast and lunch on Sunday
Have a Question?
Send an e-mail to the organizers.
Ron Domash
Main Coordinator
Assistant Coordinator
Assistant Coordinator
Trent Nguyen
Assistant Coordinator
48 Participants
Claudina Lissette Soriano
Julia (+1)
Ron Domash
Trent Nguyen