California is one of the largest and certainly the most diverse states when it comes to its landscapes. In just a few hour’s drive, you can experience rocky cliffs on the coast, sprawling farm fields, soaring peaks in the Sierra, and otherworldly landscapes out in the desert. That last one is a perfect description of what you can see at Anza Borrego RV parks.
Anza Borrego State Park is just an hour and a half east of San Diego and two and a half hours from Los Angeles. It encapsulates all that’s beautiful about the Mojave desert in just one place, with sprawling cactus gardens, stands of palm trees, and seemingly endless badlands to explore. You’ll never be short on things to do in Anza Borrego.
Anza Borrego Facts
With so many great national parks in California, a state park like Anza Borrego isn’t on everyone’s radar. However, camping in Anza Borrego’s RV parks is less expensive and far less crowded than some of the better-known locales, making it an ideal road trip destination. These are some of the most fascinating Anza Borrego facts.
- Anza Borrego is not only California’s largest state park—it’s the largest state park in the Lower 48, encompassing 935 square miles.
- Thanks to its close proximity to San Diego, Anza Borrego gets over 100,000 visitors per year.
- There are over 500 miles of roadway in the park, though much of it is primitive and best explored with an off-road vehicle or mountain bike.
- The 2650 mile-long Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) runs along the park’s western edge, so you’re likely to see some thru-hikers if you’re RV camping in Anza Borrego in April or May. This is also one of the best times to visit Anza Borrego.
- January through March is the busy season when the wildflowers are blooming. Finding a campsite or hotel room is near impossible so book in advance!
- The park is home to the endangered Peninsular Bighorn Sheep. The best time to spot them is during the summer when they’re hiding in the slot canyons to keep cool.
Best Anza Borrego RV Parks and Campgrounds
Anza Borrego is anchored by Borrego Springs in the north and Shelter Valley in the south, connected by CA Highway 78. This is where you’ll find most RV parks near Anza Borrego, along with gas stations and restaurants.
The Springs at Borrego RV Resort
This is one of the luxurious places for RV camping near Anza Borrego. Most of the sites have full hookups with up to 50 amp service. It’s more of a resort than an RV park, with an excellent fishing pond, golf course, tennis courts, and a saltwater pool.
It’s only an eight-minute drive to the visitors center, making this one of the most convenient RV parks near Anza Borrego.
More information: The Springs at Borrego RV Resort
Tamarisk Grove Campground
A far more rustic option, Tamarisk Grove Campground is perfect for those that want less resort and more nature when RV camping near Anza Borrego. It was originally a prison camp for the San Diego County Prison but has since been upgraded to have showers, flush toilets, along with fire rings and grills at each site. No drinking water is provided, but it is available for purchase from the camp store.
More information: Tamarisk Grove Campground
Stagecoach Trails RV Resort
Sitting on the western edge of the park, Stagecoach Trails RV Resort is great for families that want all the amenities of a luxury RV park while still having the classic desert experience. Stagecoach offers full hookups and also has a pool, volleyball court, shuffleboard, and laundry facilities.
More information: Stagecoach Trails RV Resort
Leapin’ Lizard RV Park
Leapin’ Lizard falls somewhere between a full-service resort and a more rustic campground. Their sites have full hookups with 50 amp service, along with a swimming pool, spa, showers, laundry facilities, a pet area, and even an RC car racecourse. It doesn’t feel overly luxurious, though, and remains focused on being a gateway to outdoor activities in the area.
More information: Leapin’ Lizard RV Park
Borrego Palm Canyon Campground
This campsite is managed by the state park and has trailheads directly accessing the park. Full hookups are available at some of the sites, while others just have water. Showers and flush toilets are also provided. Reservations can be made from October through April; otherwise, it’s first-come, first-serve
More information: Borrego Palm Canyon Campground
Best Time to Visit Anza Borrego for RV Camping
Every season offers something new, so there’s not necessarily a best time to visit Anza Borrego. However, there are a few things you should be aware of when planning your RV rental in Anza Borrego.
December, January, and February have average temperatures in the low 60s during the day and low 40s at night. Day hikes can be sweat-free, but to stay comfortable during the cold nights
, you’ll need some decent blankets or a sleeping bag. This is also the only time of year that Anza Borrego gets much rain.
The nights are getting warmer, and wildflowers are finally sprouting from the ground. Days in March, April, and May usually hover around the low 80s, with nights in the low 60s. This is truly the Goldilocks period.
To be honest, this is probably the worst time for RV camping at Anza Borrego since daytime temperatures are simply too high
. June, July, and August all have average temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s not bad for stargazing, though, as nights are quite pleasant at mid-70s.
After summer, temperatures fall from 100 degrees Fahrenheit in September down to 75 or so in November. More pleasant temperatures bring more tourists, so you’ll start to see some crowds during these months.
Things to Do in Anza Borrego
RV camping isn’t the only activity to enjoy in this under-the-radar state park. There are loads of things to do in Anza Borrego, particularly if you’ve got a vehicle that’ll get you to some of its more remote corners. These are some of the best activities when you get an RV rental in Anza Borrego.
- Catch a sunrise over the badlands at Font’s Point.
- Wander “the Slot,” a 40-foot-deep slot canyon created by flash flooding.
- Cruise Clark’s Dry Lake in an off-road vehicle. You’ll feel like you’re making a land speed record at Bonneville.
- Watch the wildflowers bloom in early spring. They’re particularly abundant the year after a big drought.
- Take a photo with one of the massive metal bugs at Galleta Meadows Sculptures.
- Explore the “wind caves” on a breezy day and listen to their music. The sounds are hauntingly beautiful.
- Rest beneath the shade of a palm tree in Borrego Palm Canyon. It’s a challenging hike, and that shade will feel like paradise.
This is just a small sampling of what’s available. If you’re interested in exploring the park on foot, be sure to pick up a trail map from the visitor’s center.
Tips on Visiting Anza Borrego
Staying in an RV campground in Anza Borrego can be an incredible venture, but you need to come prepared. The desert can be unforgiving to those that don’t take it seriously. These are just a few of the things you should remember when RV camping at Anza Borrego.
- Pack plenty of layers—daytime and nighttime temperatures can fluctuate by fifty degrees or more.
- Carry enough water. Dehydration happens quickly when temperatures are above 100 Fahrenheit.
- Be prepared to change a tire, the roads can get pretty rough, and the park is very isolated.
- Don’t count on your phone. Cell coverage is very limited. Have a paper map handy.
- Never climb on the sculptures. It’s both dangerous and disrespectful.
- Bring a telescope; Anza Borrego has been designated a Dark Sky Park.
RV Rental for Anza Borrego
RV camping near Anza Borrego is one of the most exciting adventures you can have in Southern California. While popular parks like Joshua Tree
are brimming with visitors during peak season, you’ll find plenty of privacy at your Anza Borrego RV site.
Getting an RV rental for Anza Borrego is both easy and relatively inexpensive with Cruise America. They have a wide selection of vehicles to choose from, so you’re sure to find one that fits your needs and budget.
Start planning your road trip and call Cruise America
to reserve your RV rental today.