View Borrego Springs boon-docking spot in a larger map
We had spent a few days there a couple of weeks earlier and decided then, we must return for a longer stay. The area is really dry and desolate but has a certain charm to it. Usually the skies are bright blue during the day and clear and starry at night. You are surrounded by beautiful barren mountains that change in color and appearance as the sun rises and sets. What strikes you most is the quietness and stillness of the place. When you first arrive its like a decompression takes place as the hurried vibe you pick up in the city washes away. Soon your are relaxed and start to follow the ebb and flow of the day. The clock becomes meaningless and your day is planned based on what nature is serving up. Every once in a while you catch a fleeting glimpse of a jack rabbit, cottontail, lizard,road runner or maybe even a coyote.
Our little beagle Angie had a blast here. Free from the restrictions of campgrounds and parks she was able to run free. She particularly loved running on the huge dried up lake area called Clark Dry Lake, duh! We spent a couple of mornings photographing the spot at sunrise and she ran herself ragged. The lake had a unique texture caused by the dried up mud, add to that a special desert sunrise and it makes a great photo.
For such a remote area there is a surprising amount of things to do. The town of Borrego Springs is a neat little tourist town.
“Are you looking to escape the ordinary? To find a unique and tranquil place to recharge and recover from the pace of urban living? Escape to California’s Secret Desert™, where southern Californians in the know take a break from it all. Escape to sunshine, bracing desert air, no stoplights, and freedom from big-box stores and mini-marts. Get away for a few nights, and make Borrego Springs your getaway vacation secret, too.“
There is a mix of newer resorts and remnants from the past. It has a few shops to poke around in and some nice eateries. It seems this town and the Salton Sea area were quite big tourist destinations in the fifties. It has a small visitor center in the center of town and just west, on the outskirts of town, is the bigger Anza-Borrego State Park one. We had a nice lunch at the Red Ocotillo restaurant looking out at palm trees, the pool and the distant mountains. The restaurant is in a historic hotel that was big in the fifties with Hollywood celebs.
Surrounding the town for many miles in all directions is the Anza-Borrego State Park.
“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.”
If you have a four-wheel drive vehicle there are many trails to explore. Sadly our dually 1 ton truck is a little to big and not suitable for most back roads. But we were able to go explore an area called “The Slot”. It’s a short hike but very interesting as you descend into a slot canyon which narrows to a few feet in some places and 20-30 feet deep.
Earlier in our trip we explored the metal sculpture art north of Borrego Springs. If you missed it you can check out that blog posting here. This time out we checked some more of them residing south of the town. This area was really interesting with various types of dinosaurs, sabre-tooth cats, horses, wild birds, mammoths, etc. Also dotting the landscape were several types of cacti. There was Ocotillo, Barrel and Chollas cactus types in abundance. This really added to the surreal scene. If your ever in the area I recommend a visit to the Galleta Meadows estate land to see these sculptures
We found a good place to dump the tanks, get water, fill up with cheap diesel and free overnight RV parking. The Red Earth Casino on Highway 86 between Salton City and Palm Springs is a convenient stop over. We hit the casino’s penny slots and came away with a bonus $45 dollars too. They also had pretty good burgers in the Cafe.
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