15 Best Things to Do in Borrego Springs, CA

Borrego Springs, CA
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The California desert is not just a vast barren land but a unique environment filled with life and adventure.

One area in the California desert features its unique environment and natural beauty.

Travel to Borrego Springs, nestled in the middle of the California desert.

Look around to see the Cleveland National Forest, the Salton Sea, and San Jacinto Mountain.

You can also visit the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

With all the natural attractions surrounding Borrego Springs, you won't run out of activities and sights.

Visiting Borrego Springs takes you to pristine desert landscapes, odd metal sculptures, majestic canyons, exotic wildflowers, and the universe under the night sky.

Keep reading this travel post to find out the best things to do in Borrego Springs, CA.

Explore the Vast Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Welcome sign of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
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One of the best ways to start your adventure in Borrego Springs is by visiting the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

This vast desert state park is the biggest in the entire California state.

It spans over 600,000 acres of unspoiled desert terrain, badlands, oasis, canyons, and slopes.

A hiker standing at a badlands peak at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
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Its name comes from Juan Bautista de Anza, the Spanish explorer who discovered this massive desert.

Meanwhile, people referred to Borrego as the Bighorn Sheep, a native animal in the region.

You and your travel crew will enjoy dozens of exciting activities at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

Gorgeous rainbow over Anza-Borrego Desert State Park wildflowers
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From hiking, sightseeing, wildlife viewing, camping, and picnicking to exploration, this natural attraction in Borrego Springs has everything for everyone.

A desert bighorn sheep at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
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Step inside the Borrego Art Institute

In addition to Borrego Springs' vast natural attractions, it also has a fascinating and beautiful art scene.

Discover the scene at the Borrego Art Institute.

This local art center is the culmination of what Borrego Springs is all about.

This small town has gained fame for its stark, beautiful desert landscapes and natural areas.

With that in mind, local artists found inspiration in their town's natural beauty by portraying it through their respective artworks.

One of the most noticeable centerpieces of the Borrego Art Institute is its art-deco-style interior.

You can also see a common theme in landscape paintings, sculptures, and photography of desert life.

Spending an hour or two at the Borrego Art Institute is worthwhile, even if you don't know much about art.

Take Photos of the Famous Metal Sculptures of Galleta Meadows

People taking a picture of the Aiolornis incredibilis sculpture at Galleta Meadows
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This unique and artsy attraction in Borrego Springs features a popular outdoor exhibit of unique life-sized metal sculptures.

The artist behind the Galleta Meadows, Ricardo Breceda, welded over 130 metal sculptures.

Back in the day, the meadows' ex-owner commissioned Breceda to weld the sculptures.

This famous outdoor attraction in Borrego Springs features sculptures of dinosaurs, giant elephants, saber-toothed tigers, and other odd-looking creatures.

Sand dragon sculpture at Galleta Meadows
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Aside from taking photos of its life-sized metal sculptures, you can also explore Galleta Meadows.

It is also famous for outdoor activities such as picnicking, hiking, biking, nature photography, and horseback riding.

Of course, the best way to experience the Galleta Meadows is by taking the best photos for social media.

Scorpion fighting a grasshopper at Galleta Meadows
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Catch the Scenic View at Fonts Point

Aerial view of Fonts Point Drive
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The Borrego Badlands is a landscape of heavily-eroded and corrugated ridgelines.

This landscape creates a picturesque and unique scenery you can see from Fonts Point.

Visiting Fonts Point is one of the best experiences you can have in Borrego Springs.

Admire its unparalleled vistas of California's unique desert landscape.

Historically, Fonts Point got its name from Pedro Font, the chaplain of de Anza's 1700s expeditions.

Close view of Fonts Point Drive
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Accessing this scenic location in Borrego Springs is relatively easy.

You only need to drive a four-mile loose sand road from Yaqui Pass Road through Ram Hill Road and Road Runner Drive South.

Of course, don't forget to take the best photos either with yourself or with your companions when you reach Fonts Point.

Scenic sunrise over Fonts Point Drive
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Explore the Ghost Mountain Pictographs Trail

See the other side of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park's beauty at the Ghost Mountain Pictographs Trail.

Head south of Borrego Springs to reach the trail.

Touring through this magnificent desert landscape highlights the desert state park's southwestern edge through hiking, or perhaps horseback riding and mountain biking.

You can choose between the two-mile or 15-mile trail for a more challenging hike through the Ghost Mountain Pictographs Trail.

Historically, Marshal and Tanya South lived along the famous trail in the Anza-Borrego State Park in 1932.

It eventually became a favorite outdoor destination in Borrego Springs and surrounding areas.

Today, the Ghost Mountain Pictographs Trail is a must-visit outdoor destination for various hikers.

It's a unique attraction where you'll see ancient pictographs amidst a beautiful desert landscape.

Traverse the Hellhole Canyon Trail

Hiking trail at Hellhole Canyon
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This short but exciting destination in Borrego Springs features a 5.5-mile out-and-back trail within the vast Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

You can access Hellhole Canyon Trail through Montezuma Valley Road in Borrego Springs.

It offers visitors, especially hikers, a scenic hike that takes you to the 20-foot Maidenhair Falls.

Boulders and wildflowers along Hellhole Canyon Trail
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Throughout your hike, you'll do a 1,000-foot climb that takes you through the California Riding and Hiking Trail.

To access the Hellhole Canyon Trail, you can reach its trailhead south of the park's visitor center.

After the hike, you can dip into its knee-deep tributary or perhaps shower from its seasonal waterfalls.

Get a Glimpse of the Galaxies with Borrego Night Sky Tours

Borrego Springs is not just famous for its beautiful desert landscape and unique flora and fauna.

It's also famous for its night sky excursions where visitors see stars and celestial bodies.

Borrego Springs boasts a crystal-clear view of the night sky.

You can find the community in the middle of the California Desert, away from light pollution.

Experience this one-of-a-kind activity in Borrego Springs with Borrego Night Sky Tours.

Renowned astronomer Dennis Mammana spearheads the guided tours.

He also works with the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum.

Their office is at Christmas Circle if you want to sign up for the Borrego Night Sky Tours.

Drop by the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center

Wooden sign of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center
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If you're a first-timer visiting the vast Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, you need to drop by its visitor center.

This one-stop visitor center in Borrego Springs is a must-visit.

Go there to get all the needed details to explore the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

It also features many fascinating things relevant to this famous desert state park.

This visitor center features displays and exhibits showcasing the California desert's unique flora and fauna, environment, and history.

It has a gift shop, a theater, a bookstore, and an excellent selection of brochures.

Read them to see relevant information about the desert state park's attractions.

In addition, the visitor center's exterior area takes you through various trails for hiking and other outdoor activities.

Give Your Best Swing at the Rams Hill Golf Club

For a relaxing activity in Borrego Springs, head to the Rams Hill Golf Club for a worthwhile golf session with your travel buddies.

This golf course in Borrego Springs is not just your typical golf course.

Renowned golf course architect Tom Fazio designed the course.

The Rams Hill Golf Club features 18 spectacular holes where golfers traverse a picturesque desert landscape filled with local wildlife, from coyotes and hawks to lizards.

If you want to stay at this beautiful golf course, you can rent a crib at the House on the Hill.

After a tiring but fun golf session, head to the Rams Hill Restaurant and enjoy a delectable farm-to-table meal.

Take Another Hike at the Ocotillo Flat

Daytime view of Ocotillo Flat
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If you haven't gotten tired of exploring the attractions within Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, head to Ocotillo Flat.

You can find this famous hiking destination in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in the portion of the Coyote Canyon area.

Likewise, you can access the area through Coyote Canyon's DiGiorgio Road.

It's a famous hiking trail in the area because of its beautiful wildflowers that bloom seasonally.

In particular, it's home to the ocotillo plant, a native plant named after the region.

Ocotillo Flat is one of the best places in the California Desert for archaeology.

You'll find significant evidence of the area's indigenous population there.

Appreciate the Beauty of Borrego Springs' Desert Gardens

Borrego Springs has a dedicated area where you'll see a span of wildflower ridges within the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

You can find the Borrego Springs Desert Gardens near Coyote Canyon.

It features local and exotic wildflowers that bloom during spring.

Likewise, you can see various species of cacti and ocotillos that cover most of the garden, giving visitors a spectacular view.

In addition, the Borrego Springs Desert Gardens offer visitors a peaceful environment, a perfect retreat for those who want to shake off stress.

If you want to visit this famous Borrego Springs attraction, head to Palm Canyon Drive.

Shop for Unique Souvenirs at the Tribal Trading Post

If you're looking for unique souvenirs in Borrego Springs, head to the Tribal Trading Post.

This local shop along Palm Canyon Drive is the best place in Borrego Springs to shop for souvenirs.

You can find unique wood carvings, novelty items, ceremonial masks, traditional jewelry, native plants, and sculptures.

Likewise, you'll find authentic Native American gift items which you can buy at an affordable price.

In addition, the Tribal Trading Post doubles as a Native American Museum.

You'll come across centuries-old stone carvings, sculptures, and Native American artworks, making this place fascinating.

Squeeze through the Slot Canyon

Scenic view of Slot Canyon
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Locals in Borrego Springs love to recommend visiting the Slot Canyon.

This place is terrific for snapping magnificent photos for social media.

This famous natural attraction in Borrego Springs features 40-feet high canyon walls in a remote desert.

It is such a fascinating attraction featuring remarkable topography.

Many visitors to Borrego Springs make it a point to hike through its narrow passes.

Slot Canyon earned its name because of its narrow passes.

You need to squeeze yourself through to pass from one section to another.

Silhouette of Slot Canyon
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At the same time, the canyon walls provide a stunning backdrop, perfect for souvenir photos of your visit.

Don't let the hiking intimidate you; the Slot Canyon Trail only stretches roughly a mile.

The journey is perfect for the whole family.

Besides the narrow canyon passages, you'll also marvel at Slot Canyon's picturesque scepter-shaped rock slab, cliffs, and gaps.

If you want to visit this famous attraction in Borrego Springs, enter the trailhead from Borrego Springs Road and Christmas Circle.

View of the narrow Slot Canyon
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Shop Local Produce at the Borrego Springs Farmers Market

Round out your adventure at the Borrego Springs Farmers Market to immerse yourself in the town's culture.

You can find the Borrego Springs Farmers Market along Christmas Circle Park.

The market opens from November to April every Friday morning.

Likewise, you can find a wide array of local produce, from vegetables, fruits, and preserved foods, at the market.

You can also buy locally-made handicrafts and exciting and unique items only available in Borrego Springs.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Follow the Cactus Loop Trail

If you're an avid hiker and a lowkey botanist, visit the Cactus Loop Trail in Borrego Springs.

You can find this unique but beautiful trail within the vast Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

This famous desert trail got its name from an abundance of various cacti species.

Many of these species only live on the trail.  

Besides spotting various species of these prickly plants throughout the trail, you will also see scenic rocky ridges and desert landscapes.

In addition, the Cactus Loop Trail is the best hiking destination in Borrego Springs.

Bring the kids or elders since it only features roughly a mile of easy trail.

The Cactus Loop Trail is in Julian, California, 16 minutes from Borrego Springs.

Final Thoughts

Borrego Springs is an excellent place for outdoor adventurers from Los Angeles and San Diego.

This town is only a couple of hours away from these two major cities.

This town in the middle of the California Desert has so much potential to become a renowned tourist attraction.

Don't miss the chance to explore Borrego Springs and discover more of its hidden gems.

Bookmark this travel post about the best things to do in Borrego Springs before planning your journey!