off road driving
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. The park is named for Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and the Spanish word borrego, or bighorn sheep. The park features varied desert terrain and habitats, wildflowers, palm groves, cacti and sweeping vistas. Visitors may also have the chance to see roadrunners, golden eagles, kit foxes, mule deer and bighorn sheep as well as iguanas, chuckwallas and the red diamond rattlesnake. Listening devices for the hearing impaired are available in the visitor center. Many visitors approach from the east via Highways S22, S2, or 78. Visitors from San Diego and other points west arrive via Highways 79 and 78 can have the added pleasure of driving through the mountainous Cuyamaca Rancho State Park--quite a different experience from Anza-Borrego. The highways from the west climb to 2,400 feet or so and then descend about 2,000 feet to the valley. Where the highway breaks out of the high-country vegetation, it reveals the great bowl of the Anza-Borrego desert. The valley spreads below, and there are mountains all around. The Santa Rosa Mountains on the north side of this basin are notably grand. The surrounding mountains are wilderness, with no paved roads in or out or through. They have the only all-year-flowing watercourse in the park. They are the home of the peninsular bighorn sheep, often called desert bighorn. Few park visitors ever see them; the sheep wary in their defense against predators. A patient few observers each year see and count them, to learn how this endangered species is coping with human encroachment.
Kay G. on Panorama Overlook
Good hike and great view. Complete during early morning or afternoon. No shelter.
Made the hike in mid April and loved it! Very moderate smooth incline to start off, with beautiful desert wildlife. As you enter the canyon, the trail becomes more inclined and requires quite a bit of bouldering to eventually make your way to the falls. You pass several oases before you get to the falls, and they become more lush and beautiful the deeper in the canyon you go! Another highlight was seeing big horn sheep high above on the canyon walls on our way back down! Keep an eye out for these majestic creatures.
An amazing spot to visit if you're in Anza, especially if it's the summer time and you want to escape some of the heat. The trail is easy/impossible to stray from and there's a parking area at the trailhead. I've seen alot of people confused after parking when trying to find out how to start it. So when you park facing the canyon, go to the right up a small hill and then turn left down into the canyon. DO NOT try an adventure when there's been rain or a chance of a flood coming, the trail is narrow, hence the name. And to be blunt, if you're a bigger person, you may have some problems when it gets tight. Besides that it's the best hike for kids or a simple walk close to Borrego Springs.
I'd say this is more of a good drive with an amazing view opposed to a hike or backpacking route. it's a pretty popular spot for photography day and night. The trail there is mostly sand/soft sand. I've seen 2wd vehicles make it but I always recommend a 4wd when traveling the trails. It is a pretty obvious trail and hard to stray from, (there's even signs saying not to go off the trail) so that shouldn't be an issue. As usual, bring water and watch keep your kids and pets close as there's a pretty nice drop off at fonts point.
I've been up this a few times and each time it's great, the trail up is pretty easy if you have a high clearance vehicle and there's great camping at the top where it flattens out. An excellent spot to camp out and be away from the general groups roaming the desert in the winter time. And you can't beat the view in the morning when the sun comes up and hits the mountains around you.
A great trail, we took our kids and it was manageable to do with a two year old and our baby. It was warm when we went but not like it is during the summer, if you're going in the summer months obviously bring water. The trail has a perfect ending at the oasis with shade to cool off, and we had a good amount of water coming through the creek. Definitely will do it a third time.
Very enjoyable hike that should be rated hard by alltrails "standards". The first 1.7ish miles is PCT. You'll see a small rock pile to your left on a winding section of the PCT at that distance which marks the trail up to the summit. I'm pretty sure the elevation gain was only about 1150 ft. Almost all of the elevation gain is in the last half mile. It is very steep and very slippery. Bring poles if you got 'em. Views are worth it!