There is absolutely no shortage of camping in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Four developed campgrounds with 175 total sites and eight primitive campgrounds with even more places to camp are located throughout the park. Primitive campgrounds are free, and sites at developed campgrounds range from fifteen to thirty-five dollars per night (and $80 for a group site at Borrego Palm Canyon Campground).
The primitive campgrounds have vault toilets (except at Yaqui Pass), but not picnic tables or other amenities. Fish Creek Campground is the most developed of the primitive campgrounds. Its six sites all have their own fire rings, which are not included at other primitive campgrounds.
Blair Valley Campground is a large undeveloped area situated at 2,500 feet above sea level, providing more moderate temperatures than the desert below. Culp Valley is the highest primitive campground at 3,350 feet and Fish Creek is the lowest at 280 feet.
- Do not camp farther than one car length from any dirt or paved road
- Do not camp within 100 feet of any water source
- There is no garbage collection outside developed campgrounds so pack-in pack-out
- Ground fires are not permitted, and metal containers must be used for all campfires
This last rule is the trickiest. Bring a metal container to keep your fire off the ground. Pack out all coals, and dispose of them as trash. Coals should not be buried or spread out on the soil.
Dogs are welcome on leashes within campgrounds, but dogs are not allowed on trails or in wilderness areas. Overall, the desert is not a good place for dogs. Burned paw pads, cactus quills, and snakebites pose a danger to dogs, and canines threaten desert biomes as well. A dog’s scent can scare other animals away from trail areas, shrinking the habitat they rely on to survive.
If you not interested in sleeping on the ground, check out other lodging options on tripadvisor.com.
Developed Campgrounds in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Borrego Palm Canyon Campground | 122 sites | reservations accepted | $25 – $80 per night | drinking water, picnic tables, shade ramadas, fire rings, showers, and flush toilets | elevation 775 feet | Start of Borrego Palm Canyon Trail and Panoramic Overlook Trail
Tamarisk Grove Campground | 27 sites | reservations accepted | $25 per night | non-potable water, picnic tables, shade ramadas, fire rings, showers, and flush toilets | elevation 1,400 feet | Start of Cactus Loop Trail and Yaqui Well Trail
Vern Whitaker Horse Camp | 10 sites | reservations accepted | $30 per night | drinking water, picnic tables, fire rings, showers, and flush toilets | elevation 960 feet
Bow Willow Campground | 16 sites | first-come first-serve | $15 per night | drinking water, picnic tables, shade ramadas, fire rings, and flush toilets | elevation 950 feet
Primitive Campgrounds in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Blair Valley Primitive Campground | Lots of sites | first-come first-serve | $0 per night | vault toilets | elevation 2,500 feet
Sheep Canyon Primitive Campground | first-come first-serve | $0 per night | picnic tables, shade ramadas, vault toilets | elevation 1,500 feet
Aroyo Salado Primitive Campground | first-come first-serve | $0 per night | vault toilets | elevation 880 feet
Yaqui Pass Primitive Campground | first-come first-serve | $0 per night | vault toilets | elevation 1,730 feet| Start of Kenyon Overlook Trail
Yaqui Well Primitive Campground | first-come first-serve | $0 per night | vault toilets | elevation 1,400 feet
Fish Creek Primitive Campground | 6 Sites | first-come first-serve | $0 per night | fire rings, vault toilets | elevation 280 feet
Mountain Palm Primitive Campground | first-come first-serve | $0 per night | fire rings, vault toilets | elevation 760 feet
Hikes in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
|810||Calcite Mine Trail|
This figure-eight shaped lollipop loop visits enthralling narrows and a mine site important to the history of the Anza-Borrego Desert.
|4 - 4.25 miles|
|820||Borrego Palm Canyon Trail|
This loop visits a popular palm tree oasis in a canyon west of Borrego Springs.
|822||Panoramic Overlook Trail|
The out and back hike ascends a ridge on the south side of Borrego Palm Canyon to sweeping views of the San Ysidro Mountains and Borrego Valley.
|830||Hellhole Canyon Trail to Maidenhair Falls|
This out and back hike visits a 20-foot waterfall in a canyon near Borrego Springs, making it the perfect place to cool off on a hot day in the California Desert.
|833||Culp Valley Loop|
This loop visits Culp Valley Overlook and Pena Springs, delivering views of the San Ysidro Mountains and Borrego Valley along the way.
|836||Tubb Canyon Trail to Big Spring|
This out and back hike follows a footpath across Tubb Canyon to Big Spring in a desert canyon below Pinyon Ridge in the San Ysidro Mountains.
This out and back hike crosses a narrow canyon beneath a natural rock span that is among the most photographed landmarks in the park.
|843||Kenyon Overlook Trail|
This loop sets out from Yaqui Pass to reach an incredible viewpoint across Mescal Bajada.
|845||Cactus Loop Trail|
This loop on a self-guided nature trail explores cacti and other plants that have adapted to survive in the Anza-Borrego Desert.
|846||Yaqui Well Trail|
This out and back hike on a self-guided nature trail explores area botany and history on the way to a rare desert water source.
No hiking required to visit this Kumeyaay Indian Village Site on Mine Wash Road where you can find morteros in a collection of boulders.
|855||Narrows Earth Trail|
This short self-guided loop explores the geology of the park.
|860||Elephant Trees Trail|
This easy loop offers a lesson in desert botany including the rare elephant tree.
This out and back hike visits rock paintings drawn by Kumeyaay Indians who lived in the Anza-Borrego Desert thousands of years ago.
This out and back hike visits a village of boulders once occupied by Kumeyaay Indians who left behind Morteros, grinding bowls carved into the rock.
|890||Marshal South Home Trail|
This out and back hike ascends to the ruins of an adobe cabin on Ghost Mountain (Yaquitepec) with great views above Blair Valley.
|900||Rainbow Canyon Trail|
This out and back hike follows an undeveloped trail up a colorful canyon full of vibrant rock formations and desert plants.
|930||Wind Caves Trail|
This short hike climbs to a sandstone formation that begs to be explored.
|Joshua Tree National Park|
Nine campgrounds with 500 total sites are spread throughout the park to facilitate your visit.
|Mojave National Preserve|
A few campgrounds and endless roadside camping accommodate stays within the preserve.
|Death Valley National Park|
Nine campgrounds are spread throughout this large park to facilitate your visit.