no dogs



nature trips


wild flowers


kid friendly

off road driving

trail running



mountain biking

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.

off road driving
4 days ago

Amazing view of the badlands at sunset! A guitarist playing and singing Eagle’s at the scene is definitely a bonus! Easy off road that you can’t get lost. No problem for first-time off roader with a Subaru’s outback!

Wonderful trail! Have seen bighorn sheep many times. Hot this time of year; drink water!
Horses are not allowed.

You can make this a great day hike, or camp out right before the canyon narrows for an awesome overnight. We camped out and had an amazing time. Bring lots of water as there is none on the trail, and depending on the time you go, may not be any at the falls.

Excellent, challenging trail that I linked into the ‘Goat Canyon Trestle Bridge from Dos Cabezas Water Tower’ route (plus a short link-up) to make a 22km circular trail.

It was a pretty good trail, don’t think I was allowed to do it on a dual sport but I did it anyway. The soft sand was ruff haha. I probably wouldn’t do it again because of my off road vehicle, but there is definitely beauty in desert scenery.

My boyfriend and I are not avid hikers. We don’t have walking sticks or gigantic camel backs and we LOVED this hike. Our first big hike and we survived! We parked at De Anza Spring Resort, which FYI is a nudist resort, but I only saw a couple of old naked guys. It cost $5 per person and opens at 8- totally worth it.

We started hiking at 9am and returned at 4:30pm. We stopped twice for snacks and took a decent amount of pictures. It is a very flat hike which we appreciated. We drank around a liter of water each and brought lots of snacks. Definitely bring a flash light since some tunnels are dark. We also noticed that rattle snakes like to hang out near the entrance of the tunnels so be careful. Overall it was a great hike with many things to see!!

P.S If you’re afraid of hikes this might not be the hike for you. We saw a poor person crawling across the old bridges and holding on for dear life.

13 days ago

Wife and kids loved this place. Easy access

17 days ago

wow a great hike but be prepared. very steep at the top. one hour from the saddle to summit. twenty minutes back. great view. just below the top find the big rocks that offer a shade cave. geology 101 w variety of rock all around. i was glad it was cloudy.

The Palms at the end of the canyon are such a beautiful surprise. I recommend taking the alternate route back. It provided a bit more variety and elevation change. Plus it was less crowded. (Though no shade). Kids loved this hike.

18 days ago

Awesome and easy. Kids loved it. Lots of shade for a hot day. I wish the trail that looped back over the butte was more clearly sign posted. We ended up just turning around and going back through the slot.

Kids loved it. Nice shade for a snack at the wind caves.

Flat trail with not much elevation gain but the views are AMAZING. Being a city guy, I come hiking to recharge. The abandoned train cars are whimsical and something fun to look at. The bridges are wooden and rickety but sturdy enough to hold my 270 pound frame. There are 2 long tunnels which require actual flashlights or headlamps. CELL PHONE FLASH LIGHT IS NOT BRIGHT ENOUGH. Many other small tunnels which you don’t need a flash light. And the world famous Goat Canyon Trestle!!! Sturdy, long, and made of wood. Great end to the hike. Lots of people stopped there and ate lunch then turned around. All in all it was a shade over 14 miles round trip of you parked at the De Anza nudest resort(yes you read that right). I drank 4 liters of water on this trip. Starting temp was 70. Ending temp was 91. Walked for 5.5 hours. This is a great hike. Easy to follow. Take lots of pics because the railroad was just purchased by an investment group out of Baja, Mexico who want to use the railroad again.

Watch out for naked people. Great ride. Breathtaking.

24 days ago

After finishing the Palm Canyon hike we drove over to the slot. The entrance from the highway is small and the road to the parking lot is sand packed one-way track with turn outs. We (3 adults and 3 kids (9-11 years old) did this easy hike and it was fantastic. Warning: there are some areas where it is more suited for slender body types and wearing a backpack (even a small one) can be a little tight. It's a nice short hike and pretty relaxed. We did this at the end of the day and by the time we came up we caught the sunset

We did this hike Saturday afternoon. We were lucky that the weather was beautiful - not too hot! There were six of us (3 adults, 3 kids in good shape (9-11 years old). There were areas to get a break from the sun from boulder shadows. I would not recommend if you have difficulty getting around as some areas require a little boulder scrambling. We caught two catci in bloom and a few other desert plants but not that much in bloom. The oasis was great and we stopped and had a picnic snack. Tip: park at the camper area - free with paid admission. Parking at the visitor's center will add 3 miles RT to your hike in the sun.

24 days ago

Great workout. Bring plenty of water for this one!

25 days ago

A very fun and scenic hike. The wife and kids loved it. Enjoyed climbing over rocks, crossing streams and the oasis is breathtaking. Didn’t see any sheep but we made it to end by 8am. We where the only ones on trail then but did get crowded by 9am. I can’t wait to go back and hopefully witness the big horns.

nice caves and canyons. However, long washboard trail was punishing.

I’m actually not ready to rate trail yet (I haven’t hiked it til tomorrow), BUT, I have to say that it is not what most people would consider near Julian, CA (despite this listing saying it is).

Sure, it’s 25 miles straight line as the crow flies, but it’s about 43 miles and 1 hour drive through the mountains to get there from Julian.

on Canyon Sin Nombre

29 days ago

This trail is the museum of geology.

29 days ago

Honestly, the hardest part was finding a trail through the scrub brush and mesquite trees, since there is none. This stuff is definitely full of snakes. Try getting to the base by accessing the small dry wash under the train track bridge. We tried walking around the west side and to the south which was the long way around and found some pesos and other evidence of smuggler activities so always be aware of your surroundings.
There is no clear way to the summit but up, so pick a line. Bring a flag (U.S. of course) as the one that’s up there might need to be replaced. Once you get to the top it’ll be worth the effort. You’ll be able to see Jacumba Valley and Mexico, and some of the Coyote Mountains plus all the now little vehicles driving on Interstate 8. The views are amazing! I have driven by this hundreds of times and always wondered how to get up to the top.

it was nice day to hike this flat and long 16 miles Trestle along with fellow hikers.

We hiked from Mortero canyon road off of S2 to Deanza springs resort in Jacumba about a week ago. We almost made it to the tracks near Dos Cabezas mine. The two wheel drive small car almost made it all the way to the tracks but we still had to walk some of the dirt road to the tracks. Our total miles for the trail was 17 miles. We didn’t leave until midday but thanks to the clouds it wasn’t too hot. What a great hike. Flat but exciting. Some beautiful desert walking. We did not arrive to the resort until after dark but thanks to the tracks we didn’t need headlamps. After our hike we found the bar at deanza resort was open. We went in for a naked burger and a beer. Oh my god what a great time we had. Everyone was so nice. We party like rock stars and ended up camping. We loved it so much I applied for the bartending job. Highly recommend this hike and the resort. I think it was like $8.00 for us to camp at the resort that night. But know the Bar and restaurant are only open Thursday afternoon to Sunday afternoon. Not open Monday through Wednesday.

on Fonts Point

off road driving
1 month ago

I do recommend if you are in the area & have time you want to visit.
unofficial trail head.
I have used the longer of the two trails.
Trails were good, but I wouldn't use a passenger car. I found areas that had some deeper loose sand that would stop a car, & 1 or 2 areas that would need a higher clearance vehicle. A stock 4wd works fine.
The views are great & found some nice photo opportunities.
The activity level was steady flow of around 20-30 people.
The area is clean thanks to all who visit that are respectful of our outdoor points of interest.
I did not see any restroom or porta potties so plan ahead.
Have fun!

To start, this is an awesome hike! It is such an awesome experience going through the tunnels and observing the ruins of trains, tunnels, and work equipment along the way.

We decided to start from De Anza Spring Resort (nudist resort). When you get to the gate hit the intercom button and they will let you in. You will then drive 5mph to the office. Follow the signs and you will find it. It is $5 per person and they will need a copy of each person drivers license. From there you will head back towards the entrance gate to park and you will see rocks lined up and outlining the trail to the railroad.

Once you get to the railroad, take a right (away form the freeway) and follow the train tracks until you reach the trestle.

We decided to go through all of the tunnels, so our elevation gain was approx 2,000 ft. You could easily add distance and elevation gain if you go around the tunnels (there are trails, not sure on the quality).

Make sure on the hike you bring plenty of water, a bright flashlight or two, and comfortable shoes. This is not a good hike for warm weather and we found it very enjoyable right after the rain.

Another recommendation, as you see all the ruins and cool things to check out, do it quickly on your way out, then when you are on your way back, spend more time checking out and taking pictures. If you spend too long looking at this stuff on the way out, it is very possible to end up walking back in the dark.

Finally, after the hike we started researching the history and there is so much cool stuff to learn about. Might be worth learning the history before hand so you can understand the different ruins you are seeing.

Enojy, this is a long one, but so many unique experiences that I will never forget. This is on the top list for hikes.

Hiked this yesterday with my 4 amigos. We were a group with varying degrees of fitness, but all hikers. First, take at least 3 L of H2O, it get's hot up there. It helps to drink some electrolytes beforehand or eat some blocks during. There is no shade! Start out with sunscreen on and re-apply liberally. We started at 8:30 a.m. and only averaged a mile or so per hour. I would recommend starting earlier if it is warm. When we finished it was 85 degrees! Too hot IMHO. I would NOT park at the abandoned tractor tires, I would go on down the road to the structure and park there. Go up on this side. For the first part of the trail, it is mostly way-finding. Once you get up past the first ridge, there is a bit of a trail and we built some cairns to help you out. Not so many cairns at the first part. I would recommend lug-soled boots and poles. The trail can be unkind in some places and you need good traction and support. Great work-out and nice views.

Starts with the Borrego Palm Canyon Hike. Follow the canyon a few miles past the first palm grove, then ascend the ridgeline to Indianhead Peak. The elevation gain is all in the last couple miles, very steep and difficult. Lots of fun bouldering, but most of the mountain is composed of schist which breaks off in shards and covers most of the mountain in loose and slippery rock. Slipped and fell into cacti several times.

Wont be hiking the peak again, but the canyon hike was beautiful, have never seen so much water there. Glorious.

1 month ago

Did this hike yesterday. Wouldn't suggest any first timer to do it without a downloaded map. That's what we did and we lost 2 hours searching for the entrance to the canyon that leads to the peak. If you still do, then the entrance is by the sign which says "only foot traffic after this point". You go through a canyon and once you get out of it look for the tallest peak opposite to you and start walking towards it through the field of cacti. Just go straight... don't bother to look for tracks or a trail cause there's none (at least we didn't find one). When you get to the base of the mountain go all way to the end (which is to your right). That's where you'll find entrance to the second canyon which will lead you to the peak. Good luck! And don't forget long pants and long sleeves otherwise you'll end up with millions of scratches and spikes in your skin, as cacti growth is really dense and cholla is everywhere!

We did this hike years ago & loved it...went again yesterday with friends visiting from Vancouver...great hike & we were lucky to get to see some big horn sheep grazing by the streams edge. Weather was perfect! Disappointed that the Oasis pool is now barricaded off from getting in the water but still an enjoyable experience :)

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