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Anza-Borrego Desert State Park


The Park in a nutshell

With over 600,000 acres, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the largest state park in the contiguous United States. 500 miles of dirt roads, 12 wilderness areas and miles of hiking trails provide visitors with an unparalleled opportunity to experience the wonders of the Colorado Desert.

The park is named after Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and the Spanish name borrego, or bighorn sheep. The park features washes, wildflowers, palm groves, cacti and sweeping vistas.

Visitors may also have the chance to see roadrunner, 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.

There are more wonders in this desert than anyone could see in a lifetime, such as the wildflowers, which usually start blooming in force in late February or early March. Varieties of cactus bloom at all elevations but at different times, and for wildflower buffs they are the real prize. They tend to be "specimen" blossoms in colors ranging from red to yellow, and green. Some, such as the red chuparosa and the yellow brittlebush, show themselves as a mass of tiny flowers covering the surface of a shrub, or even a field of shrubs, or, in a good year, a broad expanse of pinkish sand verbena. The park rangers say you can't predict how the desert plants will respond to the timing and amounts of rainfall and the fluctuations of temperature.

Cactus Bloom
Cactus Bloom in spring



Document Information
Source: California State Parks
Last modified: 20070415
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