Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 16, 2017

Anza-Borrego State Park Wildflower & Visitor Information Update 3/16/17

Here is the most current visitor information from Anza-Borrego State Park

Due to the extremely large number of visitors to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs is experiencing heavy traffic congestion, so please expect traffic delays and long waits for parking.  Please be patient.  We encourage visitors to come early or later rather than midday.

Also, due to the large amount of visitors to Borrego Springs, cellular data may not be available.

Parking Information

Parking at Borrego Palm Canyon is limited.  Vehicles will be restricted to occupying one parking space.  There will be limited parking for oversized vehicle at the Visitor Center 2nd parking lot.  People with RVs, trailers, and other oversized vehicles are encouraged to plan for limited parking.

A heat wave through the weekend means visitors should wear sun protection and drink lots of water!

As expected, plentiful rains in December, January AND February have encouraged the development of a spectacular showing of annual plants in the flower fields north of town, along trails in western canyons, and even in the badlands. Roadsides in town are a great place to see fields of Desert Dandelions. A good route to follow is:

  • North on Borrego Springs Road from Christmas Circle in the middle of town
  • Look at flowers at the north end, then turn right onto Henderson Canyon Road
  • Travel the length of the road east to the flower fields
  • Turn right on S-22, which will bring you back into town

Desert Lily plants are continuing to bloom in many locations, including the badlands. The dirt road to Arroyo Salado Primitive Camp is a good place to look for Lilies (beyond the camp area, 4WD is recommended). Notch-leaved Phacelia is another treasure to be found in the badlands this year, but only if you are driving a four-wheel-drive vehicle.

Every day, we are seeing more and more Desert Sunflowers start blooming in the “Flower Fields” along Henderson Canyon Road. Look for Sand Verbena, Lupine and Dune Evening Primrose here, also. A variety of flowers can also be found at the western end of the road, near the collection of large metal statues.

The Coyote Canyon Road has been graded again, making it passable to two-wheel-drive vehicles as far as Desert Gardens (caution: shoulders are sandy, leaving just a few areas safe for passing and turning around).  Bright yellow Parish’s poppies covering the hillsides are delightful! Drivers who don’t want to drive the dirt road should park at the end of the pavement and venture out onto the flats, for Desert Lilies in bloom, Dune Evening Primrose, Lupine, Desert Chicory, and patches of Sand Verbena, as well as an increasing number of Desert Sunflowers.

Poppies, Phacelia, Cryptantha, Chuparosa and Brittlebush have been blooming at the Visitor Center, where Desert Dandelions and other annuals make an impressive showing.

Borrego Palm Canyon is beautiful right now, with Canterbury Bells, Poppies, Monkeyflower, and Phacelia blooming against lots of bright green foliage! Brittlebushes are loaded with buds, and should be bursting with bright yellow flowers any day. Look closely for delicate Whispering Bells and diminutive Little Gold Poppy. Hellhole Canyon should have similar flowers, and while it is a longer hike, could be an option when the parking lot for Borrego Palm Canyon is full.

Flower-seekers wanting to get away from crowds would do well to explore the southern end of the park. Highway S-2 from Sweeney Pass to the Carrizo Badlands Overlook is beautiful, and primitive camping areas (try Blair Valley or Mountain Palm Springs) and trails will be much less crowded.

March 13, 2017 Flower Map

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