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2 Alyn Robert Brereton
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Randall Finley
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park - Site # 22
From sprawling washes and badlands to eroded mile-high peaks with palm-lined canyons, California's largest state park features desert habitats and wildlife.
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Peninsular Desert Bighorn Sheep
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs
A rural desert local Peninsular Desert Bighorn Sheep displaying breeding lip.
Peninsular Desert Bighorn Sheep: 1024x712.704

Background: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park’s rugged landscape formed largely by the forces of erosion attacking the uplifted mountains. The higher the mountains rise, the more vigorously they are attacked by rain, snow, ice, and wind, as they yield to the constant pull of gravity.

An underground visitor center is the portal to this vast area traversed by three paved roads and hundreds of miles of backcountry routes and trails. The Borrego Palm Canyon Trail passes a pond with endangered desert pupfish and enters a palm-lined gorge, where migrant warblers and orioles, resident hummingbirds, wrens, phainopeplas, and California quail may be seen. Chuckwallas, desert iguanas, and other reptiles bask on rocks blazed by a patina of 'desert varnish'. Rare peninsular bighorn sheep balance on cliff ledges. In the spring, use binoculars to scan the slopes above Tamarisk Grove Campground for borregos, or bighorn lambs. Creosote and mesquite shelter Gambel's quail, Le Conte's and sage thrashers, long-eared owls, and songbirds. Desert sands bear the tracks of noturnal Merriam's kangaroo rats, kit foxes, coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions.

The Habitat: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the largest state park in California. Five hundred miles of dirt roads, 12 wilderness areas and many miles of hiking trails provide visitors with an unparalleled opportunity to experience the wonders of the California Desert. The park is named for Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and the Spanish word borrego, or bighorn sheep. The park features washes, wildflowers, palm groves, cacti and sweeping vistas. Visitors may also have the chance to see roadrunners, golden eagles, kit foxes, mule deer and bighorn sheep as well as iguanas, chuckwallas and the red diamond rattlesnake. Listening devices for the hearing impaired are available in the visitor center.

Viewing Tips: More than 225 bird species, 60 mammals, 60 reptiles and amphibians. Upland birds and perching birds are seen year-round, songbirds in fall and spring. Moderate probability of seeing thrashers and owls in winter and spring. Wildflowers bloom from March to April. Look for mammals from March to October. Bighorn sheep rut lasts from September through November, lambing occurs January through April. Watch for rams along Road S-22 between markers 12.5 and 13.5. Pull off road completely. Best Sheep viewing in morning. DO NOT APPROACH OR DISTRUB BIGHORN SHEEP. SEVERE SUMMER HEAT AND ABRUPT WINTER STORMS. COME PREPARED FOR DESERT CONDITIONS.

Nearby Viewing Sites:  Living Desert

Festivals & Events: Salton Sea Bird Festival
San Diego Audubon Bird Festival

Visitor Information:  Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau - 760-767-5555 - https://www.borregospringschamber.com/
Viewing Site Hours of Operation are:
Staff On-site: Yes
Open:  Mon-Fri
Hours: 10am to 2pm
Year Round: Yes

Road Information:   Paved.  Gravel. 
Road Hazards: 
 Number of Parking Spaces: 0
Parking Fee: 
Proximity to viewing area:
 Pull-Through Parking: 
Parking Notes: 

How to Get There: From Temecula at juntion of Interstate 15 and Highway 79, take the Indio Warner Springs off-ramp (Highway 79). Approximately 5 miles past Warner Springs, turn left on Highway S-2. Drive about 5 miles to Highway S-22 (sign for Borrego Springs) and turn left onto Highway S-22. After going through town of Ranchita, road passes down a 12-mile, 8-percent grade. At stop sign, turn left to park visitor center. OR, from San Diego, take Interstate 8 east to Highway 67 north (toward Ramona). At San Ysabel, turn left on Highway 79. Travel 10 miles to Highway S-22 and turn left. Pass through RAnchita, then down the grade. At stop sign, turn left at park visitor center.

Contact Information
Managing Agency: California State Parks
Agency Site URL:  https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=638
Physical Address:
, CA
Agency 2:
, CA
Manager Phone:
Site Phone:(760) 767-4205
County:  San Diego
Addition Website:  https://theabf.org/

The Anza-Borrego Desert State Park consist of the following viewing sites: