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After having such a great time checking out the poppy superbloom near Lake Elsinore last week, Vince and I decided to visit Anza Borrego State Park to see their wildflowers superbloom. It was amazing! Read on to find out how to see the wildflowers at Anza Borrega State Park.
One of my students told me about Anza Borrego State Park a few years ago. When researching where to find wildflowers several weeks ago, Anza came up again. I was curious and after doing more research for my wildflower superbloom post last week, I decided to check out Anza myself.
Vince and I left at 9:15 Saturday morning and didn’t return until around 9:15 that night. Anza was a little of a drive and once we arrived, we drove around to search for the wildflowers because the park is huge! We were tired by the end of the day, but had a blast!
About the Park
Anza Borrega State Park is huge! It is 600,000 acres, making it the largest park in the state of California. Canyons, mountains, and the Pacific Crest Trail go through the park.
Anza is located 65 miles, southeast of Temecula. The drive is absolutely beautiful, through vineyards and ranches, a far cry from the busyness of Orange County.
The park is open from dawn until dusk, making it a great place to explore during the long days of spring and summer. There is a visitor center that is open from 9 am to 5 pm seven days a week.
Below are some tips to best enjoy your time at Anza Borrega State Park. I highly recommend viewing the website for wildflower updates and what to bring.
Do you want to explore other areas to see the wildflower superbloom? Check out my post on 5 of the Best Places to See the California Wildflower Superbloom!
Pack Food and Water
There is not much between Temecula and the park, so be prepared with plenty of food and water. Vince and I brought water and snacks. There is a tiny town near the visitor center, Borrego Springs.
We ended up eating lunch at a restaurant there. A small snack shop was right next to the restaurant as well, across from a hotel. I still recommend bringing your own water and some food, since there is not much here in town.
Anza is at 3,000 feet, which is much different than where we live near sea level. Because of the elevation, the weather can change quickly. It was 80 degrees but windy, so we were fine in layers.
I wore shirts while Vince had on jeans and we were both comfortable. We had hats since we were spending all day outside in the desert. I put on sunblock to keep my Irish white skin from getting burned.
We each carried a small backpack with our water, snacks, and Galaxy S10e phones, which took awesome pictures and video, as you can see from this post. We also had cash on us, just in case.
Wear Sturdy Shoes
Sturdy shoes are a must when outside, especially in the desert. There were many prickly plants that we walked near and admired. These would hurt if stepped on, so make sure to have sturdy shoes on while visiting Anza.
Have a Full Tank of Gas
Vince and I made sure our Elantra had a full tank of gas before we left Huntington Beach. Whenever we go to unfamiliar places that are a few hours away, we make sure the gas tank is full. We added some gas when we left Temecula that evening.
I remember passing a small station in Borrego Springs. I still advise having as much gas as possible when you are going somewhere new. You don’t want to end up with an empty tank in the middle of nowhere.
On their website, the park noted that visitors were to not step on the wildflowers and to not pick them to allow others to enjoy them as well. I think this is common sense and sad that people have to be reminded of this. Nature can be enjoyed without ruining it for others.
How to Find the Wildflowers
There are several ways to find the wildflower superbloom at Anza Borrega State Park. You can hike to them, drive your car to the sites, rent a bike, book a private tour, or offroad in a four-wheel.
Since I knew the park would be large and we might tire quickly due to the heat and elevation, we decided to drive to as many of the locations as possible.
Types of Wildflowers at Anza Borrega State Park
There were many types of wildflowers, cactus, and other desert plants that could be seen from all over the park. Certain areas were known for having more blooms than others. I’m just going to mention some of the plants we saw since there were so many!
Desert Sunflowers, desert dandelion, pincushion, phacelia, beaver tail cactus, desert lilies, lupine, purple sand verbena, white dune primrose, and other cactus, desert plants, and wildflowers were admired during our trip.
Below are the locations we visited and the types of wildflower superbloom that were found at these locations.
Areas to See the Wildflower Superbloom
After grabbing a bite to eat at a nearby restaurant, we parked our car and wandered around the Visitor Center. Phacelia, desert dandelion, pincushion, and a variety of desert plants were found all around the center and parking lot.
Beaver tail cactus and other cactus were in bloom near the Visitor Center as well. There was a small, paved walkway near the center that was .25 mile, where you could admire the wildflowers without going off the path.
Henderson Canyon Road
The next area, which had the best view of wildflowers, was just off of Henderson Canyon Road. A gorgeous display of desert sunflowers were found here, as well as purple sand verbena and white dune primrose.
There were also huge caterpillars and butterflies around the flowers as well. The mountains made a gorgeous backdrop with the sunflowers in the foreground. They seemed to go on forever!
The last stop we took was in the Borrego Badlands off of Highway S-22, near mile marker 35. This desolate area had some desert lillies and lupine. The purple lupine were a beautiful contrast against the stark landscape.
The End of the Wildflower Tour
Vince and I drove back to the restaurant parking lot, where we had some water and snacks before hitting the road back home. There were several other locations of wildflowers, but at this point in the day we were tired.
This trip to see the wildflowers at Anza Borrego State Park was definitely a wonderful way to spend a Saturday. Let me know if you have visited and other thoughts you have in the comments section below!