Edit ModuleShow Tags

How to Avoid Wildflower Crowds in the Desert This Weekend

Steer clear of traffic as thousands descend upon the tiny town of Borrego Springs


Published:

A cactus blooms in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. | Photo: Sanna Boman Coates

Last weekend it seemed like everyone in Southern California had the same idea — to catch a glimpse of this season’s spectacular wildflower “superbloom” in Borrego Springs. Traffic was backed up for miles coming down Montezuma Valley Road as 20,000 people headed toward the tiny desert town — and finding parking or a hiking trail with some privacy proved more or less impossible. Local restaurants were even running out of food.

To avoid the massive crowds this weekend, but still get a glimpse of the colorful desert bloom, we recommend using one of the following options.

 

Take the road less traveled

Desert bloom off County Route S2. | Photo: Sanna Boman Coates

Montezuma Valley Road, the 20-mile twisty mountain road that connects State Route 79 with Borrego Springs, is the main entryway into town from San Diego. However, there are other, less busy ways to get to Borrego. Try taking the 78 east from Julian to the S3 north, which will bring you to Borrego Springs the southern route.

Coming this way, you can even avoid going into downtown Borrego Springs, and instead opt to stop along Borrego Springs Road for some pretty spectacular wildflower sightings, minus the crowds.  

 

Explore other parts of the park

Wildflowers in Anza-Borrego's Canyon Sin Nombre. | Photo: Sanna Boman Coates

Another option is to steer clear of Borrego Springs altogether. The Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the largest state park in California, and much of it is covered in bloom and greenery after this winter’s heavy rainfalls. One of our favorite routes is to take the 8 freeway all the way to Ocotillo and then head north on County Route S2. About 10-15 miles north of Ocotillo, the desert landscape will start to become more colorful, and there are plenty of overlooks and canyons to stop at for a hike or a quick photo session.

Pro tip: DesertUSA has the latest Anza-Borrego flower updates, including maps showing where to find the bloom.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

A Complete Guide to San Diego’s Best Dog Parks

Let your pooch run, fetch, and sniff to her heart’s content at these hot-diggity dog spots. Off-leash, dog beaches, pup-friendly hiking—it’s all here.

A Family in Good Hands

Generations of Mickelsons, including pro golfer Phil, have a special connection to Scripps.

New Food Hall Coming to East Village, and more San Diego Food News

Plus L.A. Restaurateur Setting Up Shop in Little Italy and more restaurant openings and coming-soons
Edit Module

Subscribe to the Blog

 
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

Wheelhouse Credit Union Reopens Downtown Branch

Completely remodeled branch brings a modern service experience to members

Kashi Cleans Up

Join the Solana Beach company and I Love a Clean San Diego for a beach cleanup July 13
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. San Diego's Best Restaurants 2019
    Nearly 7,500 of our hungriest readers voted in our annual poll—and the results are served
  2. Where to Watch the Fireworks in San Diego this Independence Day
    Where to catch the fireworks displays in every corner of the county
  3. The Best of San Diego 2019
    Our annual compilation of everything delicious, cool, and Instagrammable in San Diego (and Baja!)
  4. The Best Veggie Burgers in San Diego
    The citywide hunt for the best plant-based burger found a clear winner
  5. What Will San Diego Look like in 2069?
    The City of San Diego is 250! Instead of looking back, we asked experts to predict how our city will look in 50 more years.
  6. The Best San Diego Happy Hours to Get You Through the Week
    All the best spots to take advantage of drink specials, cheap bites and more, from Pacific Beach to South Park
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module