|Awesome sunset on our first evening,|
|And equally beautiful sunrise the next morning!|
For our first hike we chose to walk up Palm Canyon right from our campsite. This is a very popular trail, especially in the spring, so we made sure to get out early. We ended up hiking about 5 miles round trip, including at least half a mile past the palm grove where most folks turn around. On our return to the main palm grove we encountered lots of people (midweek) but taking the Alternate Trail back was more solitary and added another perspective to this wonderful hike.
|Three lizards enjoying morning sun.|
|It's a bit of a challenge to scramble beyond the first palm grove,|
but what awaits you up canyon is beauty and solitude beyond compare.
|I was fortunate to spot this red diamond rattler sun bathing from a good distance.|
|We were even able to stand on the rock above him for another perspective before he slithered underneath.|
|Every canyon hike in Anza Borrego requires grippy shoes for lots of rock scrambling!|
|Poppies and shadows.|
Another hike to an oasis near our camp site was Hellhole Canyon. This five mile out-and-back hike ends at a lovely little waterfall alcove full of maidenhair ferns. The scrambling up canyon gets pretty hairy in the last quarter mile or so but the payoff was more water at the fall than we've seen in years past.
|Ocotillo blooms are brilliant splashes of color against desert mountains.|
|Brittlebush provides fantastic color up every canyon we hike.|
|A couple of warblers enjoy the stream.|
|Maidenhair falls...that is a pretty good flow thanks to a decent amount of rain this winter.|
Any trip to Borrego Springs should include a tour of Galetta Meadows.
|One of many fantastic metal sculptures spread across the desert around Borrego Springs.|
Our last hike in this area was supposed to be Pinion Wash to Harper Flat, an area extensively used by Native Americans. We made a wrong turn while driving Pinion Wash and ended up hiking Nolina Wash, one canyon over from our intended goal. No matter...Nolina Wash was lovely and we even found some morteros and another Three-Lined Boa. Harper Flat will be waiting for us the next time we're in this area!
|Native American morteros.|
|Three-Lined Boas (formerly Rosy Boas) are native to a small segment of Southern California.|
We've seen three of them in as many weeks!
|There was a wonderful variety of rock throughout this wash.|
|This ended up being our turn around point about 2.5 miles up the wash.|
Hans scrambled up the left side of this boulder and said it was getting more difficult up stream.
|Carefully maneuvering down the other side.|
Anza Borrego's Palm Canyon Campground was a good home base for exploring another section of this huge state park. We chose to stay in the full hookup section and found our pull through site just barely big enough to hold our 35 foot 5th wheel and truck.
Verizon signal was strong but the tower was so overloaded we had frustratingly slow internet access.
Even though the sites at Palm Canyon had better separation than those at Agua Caliente Regional Park, we overall preferred Agua Caliente for its location, variety of trails and hot pools.
Next up: we move on to the mountains for a brief stay before heading back to San Diego.