Hiking Borrego Palm Canyon, Anza-Borrego Desert

We hiked Borrego Palm Canyon Trail earlier this month with friends. The trail was dotted with colorful wildflowers. The creek was full of water. It was a gorgeous spring day in the desert.

The Borrego Palm Canyon Trail is probably the most popular trail in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The trailhead is located at the Borrego Palm Canyon campground, the largest in the park, near the visitor center, just outside of the town of Borrego Springs.

As in all the trails in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, dogs are not allowed on this trail. Wildflowers were abundant, predominantly red Chuparosa, fragrant desert lavender, yellow Parish’s poppies, blue phacelia, pink Bigelow’s monkey flowers. There were some brittlebush, beavertail cacti and ocotillos blooming. There was a good amount of water in the Palm Canyon Creek. It was a wonderful time to be out in the desert.

Sign at the official trailhead

Colorful rocks along the trail

This section was full of green shrubs.

Lots of yellow poppies in Borrego Palm Canyon

View from our stop spot

Heading out after the break

Bigelow’s monkey flowers were all over the trail section that was away from the creek.

Reddish color of the rocks contrasts nicely with the green and yellow colors of the plants.

View from the south section of the loop

A 20-second video from the spot we stopped for snacks before returning. Turn up your speaker for the sound of the water.

We didn’t explore beyond the palm oasis. For more info and photos of this hike, check out hikespeak.com website.

  • Date hiked: March 7, 2017
  • Hiking time: 2h 50m
  • Distance: Approx. 4.0 mi round-trip (out and back with an option to make a loop in the middle) if starting from the RV section of the Borrego Palm Canyon campground like we did
  • Elevation change: Approx. 590 ft gain
  • Note: If starting from the official trailhead, a round-trip distance will be about 3 mi. Day-use fee is required to park at Borrego Palm Canyon parking lot.

13 Comments

    1. Thanks for visiting. I hear you about the cold and wet Pacific Northwest. Although our “home-base” is in Oregon, we wouldn’t want to spend winter there.

      On a separate note, I saw that your website on your profile has a dead link. But I found your new site whoneedsplansblog.wordpress.com I’ll check it out.

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    1. Thanks Sheri. I’m not sure. The park brochure implies that it’s for pet safety. I can see that but my skeptical mind thinks there are more to it. Regarding safety, many trails in the desert have cacti all over, particularly, those jumping cholla cacti leave their spiny balls everywhere. It would be a problem for pets if they step on it.

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        1. I think it might be these reasons too. One thing is for sure. Unlike in other type of forest and ecosystem, desert heals very slowly. Any scars made to the landscape stay there for a long time.

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  1. Looks like the perfect week to enjoy desert wildflowers! Your photos are so beautiful; I bet the wildflowers were even more lovely in-person. Seeing these desert blooms is on my list now thanks to you. We’ll be near Anza-Borrego later this year, though not in time for the wildflowers, unfortunately. Glad to enjoy them here!

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    1. Thanks. They were so beautiful that it felt like a paradise. It’s such a treat to see cacti like beavertail with its brilliant pink color blooming in nature. Yes, they are definitely prettier in-person. Some photographers can make places look more beautiful than they are. Not me. My goal is attempting to capture what I see.

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