When the desert in California has a winter like we have had in 2016-2017, things get a bit colorful. It's a sight not to see. We opted for a day trip to drive to Anza-Borrego State Park, fully expecting allergies to be in high gear and crowds to have overtaken most camping spots. We were right on both points, and left quite happy with our day trip.
Waking up early on a Sunday morning, we headed straight for the desert. Extra doses of allergy medicine were consumed with our coffee. As we got closer to the park, we noticed heavier traffic on the road than usual. We followed the slow train of vehicles that seemed to growing the closer we got, and eventually arrived at Culp Valley. The campground was overflowing - literally, people were camping in spots where they shouldn't have been - overflowing. As we drove along S22, every pull-out, or spot with a small shoulder, had cars parked in it. We were beginning to wonder if the trip was a good idea, based on the fact that things were so crowded and there really wasn't any safe place to stop.
Kim found a handy "flower map" on the Borrego Springs website, so we just started following the path that they recommended. Our first stop was alongside Henderson Canyon Road that was surrounded by yellow wildflowers on either side. It was a sea of beautiful yellow flowers from a distance, but as we got closer, purple, white, and pink started to pop out. So did the caterpillars! So many happy snacking caterpillars!
We were careful to tread lightly, so as not to trample any flowers or grass. This field alone was a stunning place to see. We headed back to the car, applied sunscreen, chugged some water, and started towards the next destination. The map pointed us towards Coyote Canyon, and Desert Garden, which is typically a dirt road that turns to sand and rock, and can be fairly difficult to drive. It should have been no surprise to see so many cars, trucks, and annoyed Jeep's back there. Back in this area, we also saw many blooming ocotillo's and cacti. The road was fun to drive on for the first couple of miles, then things got a bit rocky, and the sand got pretty deep. We opted to turn around and get out of the way of the annoyed Jeep's.
The next stop was Galleta Meadows, near the corner of Henderson Canyon and Borrego Springs Roads, which is known for the large steel sculptures on display. We enjoyed a few dinosaur sightings, but really enjoyed the explosion of flowers, in many colors. This was a beautiful area to explore.
Last, but not least, we headed south of Borrego Springs, towards Julian on Borrego Springs Road, and ran into a forest of blooming ocotillo's. These were possibly the highlight of this warm, sunny, sneezy trip. Anza-Borrego got lucky this year with the flowers. They had a lot of rainfall earlier on, and it left them with a bursting wildflower season.
Last year, Death Valley put on a beautiful show for Superbloom, so it is cool to see it in a different place this year! It was beautiful, and hopefully these flower fields remain healthy for future years to come!