Anza Borrego Desert State Park
San Diego & Imperial Counties, California
(Nearly) Annually


My wife and I make a yearly pilgrimmage out to the gorgeous and remarkable Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in San Diego County, California. The place is surreal and serene, and relatively uncrowded. We often have whole entire sections to ourselves!

Typically we'll come here and "concentrate" in one area for a few days. We like to camp in Fonts Wash and at Fish Creek (Split Mountain) Gorge. We hike, laze around, get sunburned and rejuvenate our souls here. We have hiked Whale Peak and have also stayed at the Hot Springs as well as at some of the privately-run outfits along the highways.

Anza has all the beauty and gravitas to be a national park, but it is too fragmented by private, military and indian lands to ever be continuously "whole". More than once we've been buzzed by large black helicopters from the nearby Naval Range. I can imagine how terrifying that would be if I was a tin-foil-helmet kind of guy. In reality, it's amazing.

Anza may well be the best-kept secret in Southern California. Having grown up there, and Beth having lived in San Diego for awhile, we can both attest that most people in SoCal have never heard of Anza or think it's in Arizona. Fine by us.

Photos (Click to enlarge)

Fonts Wash & Fonts Point

Toro Peak at sunset

Our camp

Panorama of the Santa Rosa Mountains

Toro again, the washbed

Me up on the washbank

Beth below, enjoying camp

Toro again

Pan of the badlands and of Fonts Point

Pan of Toro Peak




Bow Willow

Bow Willow Canyon

Our truck, camping

Sombrero Peak

Panorama, North and East

Painted Gorge

Carrizo Mountains

In the gorge

Ascending the road

Centinela Peak in Mexico

Fish Creek/Split Mountain

Panorama of the Fish Creek Range and the campground nearby. Can you see our truck?

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(c) 2012 Scott Surgent. For entertainment purposes only. This report is not meant to replace maps, compass, gps and other common sense hiking/navigation items. Neither I nor the webhost can be held responsible for unfortunate situations that may arise based on these trip reports. Conditions (physical and legal) change over time! Some of these hikes are major mountaineering or backpacking endeavors that require skill, proper gear, proper fitness and general experience.