Sunday, May 12, 2013

Anza Borrego camping

Anza Borrego is a huge desert state park with developed campgrounds, primitive campgrounds, and off road camping where you can pull off the road almost anywhere and camp. Borrego Springs, the small town within the park is part of the International Dark Sky Community, with minimal light pollution good for star gazing and one of the reasons we wanted to go check it out.

We headed out Friday afternoon to beat the traffic out there. Took us about 2 hours and we got to the Culp Valley primitive campground around 2:30pm. Luckily for us, there were only 2 other sites taken, probably because the weekend was forecasted to be 90+ degrees. We pretty much hung out in the shade until it got cooler, waiting for the JJ's to arrive.

Site setup

After it cooled down, I headed out on the Culp Valley loop trail that starts at the back of the campground to scope out areas for sunset.

culp valley loop trail anza borrego state park anza borrego cactus flower

I stayed up at the top of the trail for sunset, with a view 3000 ft high overlooking Borrego Springs.

anza borrego desert state park borrego springs overlook culp valley loop trail anza borrego desert state park anza borrego sunset culp valley anza borrego culp valley sunset culp valley sunset anza borrego state park culp valley azna borrego sunset culp valley anza borrego state park sunset

Came back down for some kabobs that the JJ's brought; shrimp, chicken, and veggies.

There are no fire rings at the primitive sites, but they are free so you can't ask for much. All they have are pit toilets and a flat spot to pitch a tent. The JJ's brought a metal trash lid which worked out well.


As the night went on, most of the clouds blew away and the stars became visible. However, for some reason it never really got that dark. While you could still see a lot of stars, light was still visible along the horizon washing out a lot of them. I still took some that night, and woke up again at 4am to take some with the Milky Way facing south.

anza borrego star gazing anza borrego milky way milky way over anza borrego

The next day we were planning on hiking down in Borrego Springs, but by 9am it was already 85 degrees. So we decided to just check out the visitor center and the town. There are various sculptures around town where you can just drive up to.

Had to take a picture of the camel with my Sahara gear on hahaha.

The snake one was pretty cool as it stretched out on both sides of the road.

We stopped by the store in Borrego Springs to eat lunch and have some ice cream before hitting the road.

A few of Nixon

I wish the park was a bit closer, as it is huge with many areas to explore. We will probably end up coming back for a full weekend trip sometime in the fall/spring when the weather is a bit more tolerable.

We'll be heading out for another 1-nighter to Wheeler Gorge next month, but we will be bringing Georgie so that should be fun.

Brandon Yoshizawa
B.A.Y | photography
Landscape and Wildlife photography