Activities - Things to do in Borrego Springs

The scenic beauty that surrounds us and our inviting climate call us to explore the mystery of desert geography, to spend time outside, to hike, to golf, to play tennis, to ride, to linger.  Fresh clean air and sunshine invigorate us.   Let's go  outside!

53rd Borrego Days Desert Festival Oct 19-21

Anza-Borrego Desert Learning Golf 
Anza-Borrego Desert Visitor Center Music & Theater
Birding Off-Roading
Biking - Cycling Skyart - Sculptures
Calendar of Activities & Events Stargazing
Borrego Citrus Tennis
Desert Hiking Wine Tours
Desert Gardens Youth Programs
Desert Wildflowers Volunteering
Drives & 4WD - Exploring  
  ANZA-BORREGO DESERT LEARNING - Educational & Recreational Programs
  A full schedule of hikes, lectures, classes, fieldtrips, tours, and other educational and recreational programs are offered during the desert season of approximately October - May.  Please check the websites of the organizations below for detailed program schedules.

Anza-Borrego Foundation
PO Box 2001
587 Palm Canyon Drive, Suites 110 & 111
Borrego Springs, CA 92004-2001


  Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association
652 Palm Canyon Dr 
PO Box 310
Borrego Springs CA 92004-0310
  Back to Top
  The Anza-Borrego State Park visitor center is located 2.5 miles west of Christmas Circle at the end of Palm Canyon Drive.  The building has been constructed partially underground for natural temperature control and features a garden of native plants above, on its rooftop.   

The visitor center houses extensive exhibits on the paleontology, archaeology, geology, and wildlife of the desert, as well as a store that offers park-related books and gift items. There is also a theater where  films and interpretive programs are scheduled during the desert season.   A paved pathway leads from the visitor center to the Palm Canyon Campground; this is an ideal place for an easy desert walk and to see flowers in season.  
  BIRDING  Back to Top
  Borrego Springs is perfectly situated for birders to enjoy four distinct birding experiences.  First, there are the resident desert birds. Then there are the seasonal migrants that pass through on their north-south migration.  There is also the annual migration of Swaison's hawks that pass through the Borrego Valley, with large kettles of hawks, sometimes hundreds of them, circling above the valley floor.  And lastly there is the Salton Sea, one of the best birding locations in America, with more than 400 species having been observed there, all about an hour away.

The Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association has a weekly Borrego Springs bird walk during the mid October - early April desert season, as well as regular trips to the Salton Sea, birding lectures, and an annual Desert Birding Festival in March.   The Anza Borrego Foundation and Anza Borrego Desert State Park offer group birding  trips, as well as birding lectures and other related programs.

Roadrunner   Swainson's Hawk Burrowing Owls near Salton Sea
The open road - Borrego

Bike touring the sculpture
Borrego Springs, with its combination of warm winter weather and a wide choice of bike routes is one of the best places to be found in the entire U.S. for winter biking.  

For casual road bikers, there is low traffic, great scenery, wide shoulders, and mostly flat terrain.  For some residents their principle means of transportation around town is their biclycle. 

More serious road bikers have all that the casual peddlers have plus a choice of many routes out of the valley to complete loops of 25 - 100 miles. 

For those who like mountain biking there are popular routes in Anza Borrego Desert State Park that offer everything from flat to challenging terrain.

Mountain bikers should ask where the best routes are to be found, as many of the washes are very sandy.

Those same sandy washes are the routes of choice for those with fat tire bikes, they are becoming more and more popular as a way to explore the desert landscape on two wheels.  It is important to note that all bikers in the park are restricted to the same routes as motorized vehicles, with just a couple very specific exceptions.  Bike rental locatons and the State Park visitor center can give you that specific information.
  Bike Borrego
Whether you are looking for a casual ride around town, an attack on Montezuma Grade, or a family outing to view Ricardo Breceda's whimsical Sky Art sculptures, Bike Borrego has a bike and route for you.
583-D Palm Canyon Dr 
Borrego Springs, CA 92004-9200 
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Agriculture has played an important part in the history and development of Borrego Springs from the very start.  Agricuture began with grapes and row crops but citrus production is now the most important component but dates are also produced here.  Most of the production of dates, grapefruit, oranges, and lemons takes place in the northern part of the Borrego Valley. Palms, Cactus, and other desert plants are also grown by several nurseries to supply the commercial and residential landscaping markets throughout the southwest.

A visit to one of the citrus fruit stands is a Borrego Springs tradition for my visitors.  As in the early days, payment is still on the honor system and there are normally open bags of citrus for you to sample before you buy.  If you happen to visit when the citrus are blooming (Generally March) you get the added treat of smelling the fragrance that blankets the area when the trees come in to full bloom.  This often coincides with the wildflower bloom.
  Seley Ranches
901 Borrego Valley Road
(Fruit Stand)
P O BOX 36
South Pasadena, CA 91031
  There are literally thousands of miles that can be hiked in the vast areas of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.  The most popular hike in the park is Borrego Palm Canyon, easily accessible from the park's Palm Canyon Campground.  The state park visitor center is a good place to get detailed information about other places to hike. 

If you are looking for a hiking guide book, Hiking Anza-Borrego  vols 1 & 2, by Robin Halford is an excellent choice.  It is widely available in stores in Borrego Springs.

Borrego Palm Canyon – 3 miles roundtrip This family-friendly hike begins at Borrego Palm Canyon Campground. The gently climbing trail leads to a native palm grove where wildlife abounds. Pick up a selfguided trail brochure at the Visitor Center that describes plants and geology along the way. Park day-use fee will be charged.

Hellhole Canyon – 5.6 miles roundtrip Travel west on S22 for less than a mile and park at Hellhole Canyon parking area. Follow the well-beaten path into the canyon until you reach Maidenhair Falls, a sparkling 20-foot waterfall. This is a fairly difficult hike and some rock scrambling will be required.

Fonts Point – short walk to viewpoint Following S22 east, turn right at Fonts Wash at mile 29.3. Drive 4.5 miles and take the one-way loop to small parking area. It’s a short uphill walk to the drop off, where you’ll have magnificent views of the Borrego Badlands and the entire Borrego Valley. This drive is very sandy and 4WD is recommended.

Pictograph Trail – 2 to 3 miles roundtrip Follow Hwy S2 6 miles south of Scissor’s Crossing to Blair Valley turnoff at mile 22.9. Travel 3.6 miles ending at Pictograph Trailhead. This kid-friendly trail leads to a pictograph-covered boulder. Continue a mile to reach Smuggler’s Canyon. Trail stops at the edge of a dry waterfall with views of Vallecito Valley.

Guided hikes are a good option if you want to venture further into the desert but want to go in a group.  Guided hikes are offered by the organizations listed below. Many are free, some may have a fee.  Check their websites for schedules and other information.

Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association
Anza-Borrego Foundation & Institute
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Additional hiking information
  The plants of the Anza-Borrego Desert have evolved to not only survive, but to flourish in the hot and dry climate.  You will see many examples of desert plants as you hike and explore the park, or you can go to the state park visitor center, where there is a garden of native plants, as well as a pup fish pond, on the surrounding grounds. 
Another place to see interesting desert plants is the ABDNHA botanical garden with a variety of desert plants from around the world.  A third garden is in the early stages of development, the Art Farm, directly behind the Borrego Art Institute.
Native Plants: State Park Visitor Center   ABDNHA Botanical Garden
DRIVES & 4WD Back to Top
  There are over 500 miles of desert roads, washes, and canyons in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park that await your exploration.  These routes offer everything from easy drives on solid dirt roads to very challenging ones with steep descents, narrow passages to be manuvered, and deep sand.  A vehicle with good clearance is a must on all but the very easiest of routes.  4WD is recommended for serious exploring.

Popular routes include:

Coyote Canyon, high clearance will do fine at first but 4WD is necessary further on.
Font's Point, high clearance necessary, 4WD recommended, deep sand in places.
Blair Valley, higher elevation, flat road, good surface, can do with a car if careful.
Split-Mountain, spectacular route, high clearance is essential, 4WD recommended.
Grapevine Canyon, Long downhill starts near Ranchita, check conditions locally.

Experience Anza-Borrego with Guided Excursions
California Overland jeep tours.
California Overland Desert Excursions  
"Roughing it as its Finest"
Adventure calls!  Explore the Anza-Borrego desert on 2, 4 or 8-hour tours, overnight camping trips or full 30+ hour excursions aboard our way-cool, open-air military vehicles.  Escape the paved road and visit special hidden places. Private jeep tours also.

866-639-7567  |  760-767-1232
1233 Palm Canyon Drivee
Borrego Springs, CA  92004
  Art shows, musical performances, and theater productions are offered by community organizations, primarily during the main desert season of October - April.  Check the calendars of the organizations below to see what is scheduled.
  Borrego Art Institute
665 Palm Canyon Drive
PO Box 2383
Borrego Springs, CA  92004-2383
  Borrego Springs Community Concert Association
PO Box 2426
Borrego Springs, CA 92004-2426

Borrego Performing Arts Center
590 Palm Canyon Drive
PO Box 243
Borrego Springs, CA 92004-0243

  Borrego Springs Film Festival
  The nearby Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area offers more than 85,000 acres for off-highway experiences and exploration.  Primitive camping is permitted in most open areas.
Ocotillo Wells Vehicle Recreation Area
5172 Highway 78
Borrego Springs CA 92004
760-767-5391  |  760-767-4951
Official website 

  More than 100 sculptures, the work of artist Ricardo Breceda, are spread across private parcels of land, known as Galleta Meadows,  in the Borrego Valley.  The art features creatures that once lived here, creatures that still do, and some that were created entirely in the imagination of the artist.  Maps of the sculpture locations are available in Borrego Springs as well as in the Village Guide, published by the Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce.
Gomphotheres  Giant Scorpion 
  Borrego Springs is an International Dark Sky Community.  The Borrego Valley is unique - it is isolated, lightly populated, and surrounded by mountains and an immense desert park.  Its dark nightime sky is valued by those who live here, and marveled at by star gzers and hundreds of thousands of visitors who over-night each year. in 2007 a group of valley residents formed the Borrego Dark Sky Coalition and set about establishing the dark sky credentials of the International Dark Sky Association.  After a two year effort, Borrego Springs was awarded the prestigious Dark Sky Community designation, only the second in the world and the first in California.    
  Photo by Dennis Mammana Borrego Night Sky Tours
with astronomer Dennis Mammana
Treat yourself and your family to an inspiring and personalized tour of the cosmos above Borrego Springs—California's only International Dark Sky Community—with the power of a telescope and one of America's favorite celestial tour guides. 
This is one tour that is truly out of this world!  
PO Box 2071
Borrego Springs, CA  92004-2071 760-767-3656  

Also, The Borrego Dark Sky Coalition maintains a listing of star gazing and other evening programs on their website.
TENNIS  Back to Top  
    Anza Borrego Tennis Center
286 Palm Canyon Dr
PO Box 1017
Borrego Springs CA 92004-1017
Website    Email

Mike Rogers, USPTR, USPTA P1
Elite Certified Tennis Teaching Professional with a Recreation Leadership Tennis Teaching Diploma, has worked with Vic Braden, and is president of SDJTA, San Diego Junior Tennis Association. 

Mike is available for Adult and Junior lessons and hitting sessions, any level by appointment  - on your court or his.  Recipient of the 2012 USPTA San Diego Division Community Service Award.  
WINE TOURS Back to Top 
  The Julian Wine-tasting Tour California Overland's Back Country Wine-Tour
San Diego County's only wine tasting tour. 
Explore Julian's beautiful back country aboard our open-air excursion vehicle, complete with stereo sound system.  Price includes free admission to wine tasting rooms, wine glass and full gourmet BBQ on the peaceful grounds of the Menghini Winery.  Free shuttle available to Julian. Much more!!  Check our web site. 
Reservations required.
866-639-7567  |  760-767-1232
1233 Palm Canyon Drive
Borrego Springs, CA  92004
    Boys & Girls Club
Borrego Springs Branch
633 Cahuilla Rd
Borrego Springs, CA 92004
760-767-9989 more info

Borrego Badlands Skate Park

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
offers interpretive programs for children during the desert season. Check the schedule at the State Park Visitor Center.

Also see: Anza-Borrego Just For Kids for activity ideas

Volunteering is a way of life in Borrego Springs.  Volunteering is fun, it's a great way to meet new people, and to make a contribution to the community.  Regardless of your interests and skills there are many ways to step into enjoyable opportunities to volunteer in Borrego Springs.  It does not matter if you are a full-time resident, a seasonal resident, or a visitor, there are more than 40 non-profit and other organizations in Borrego Springs that look forward to your volunteer experience with them.

A partial list of organizations in Borrego Springs that offer volunteering opportunities include:

Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce
Visitor Center Staffing, Office Assistance, Borrego Days & Other Special Events, Special Assignments. To volunteer please contact the Chamber Office.

Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association
Special Events & Fundraisers, Cycling, Hiking & Tour Leaders, Programs, Visitor Services, Office Assistance, Gardening, Retail, Website, Maintenance, Special Assignments

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park & the Anza-Borrego Foundation
Special Events & Fundraisers, Communications, Retail, Visitor Services, Office Support, Outreach Events, Activity Leaders, Special Assignments, Plus: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Botany, Paleontology, Archeology Societies

Borrogo Art Institute
Visitor Services, Special Showings, Support Services

Borrego Springs Film Festival
Assistance during 5 day event: box office, ticketing, ushers.  Committee members screen films, schedule showings, general planning.

Borrego Springs Performing Arts Center
Help with productions, actors, performers, general maintenance.

Borrego Springs School District
Classroom assistance, special program assistance, art, recreation, music,

Boys & Girls Club
Special Events & Fundraisers, program assistance.


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  Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce Presidential Members