Following the Anza Trail - Yuma to Borrego Springs Pt 5


Yuma to Borrego Springs

Known as the “The Gateway to the Great Southwest”, and home to the beautiful lower Colorado River, Yuma is a popular destination for winter sun-seekers as well as a year-round haven for those who enjoy water sports, golf, cycling, hiking and birding. The charming downtown district features a variety of restaurants, boutique shops and galleries, and theaters. This portion of the trail heads west on I-8 from Yuma to El Centro, California, then northeast to Borrego Springs, a desert village within Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Borrego Springs offers specialty shopping, dining, golf and a variety lodging establishments.

14. Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge
Located near Westmoreland, between El Centro and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, this unique Refuge is 227 feet below sea level. A migration stop along the Pacific Flyway and a protected breeding ground for birds and wildlife, the Refuge is home to the most diverse variety of bird species found on any national wildlife refuge in the west, and has over 400 bird species on record. There is a Visitor Center with a self-guided trail, an observation tower and picnic area.

Anza borrego Desert State Park
Anza borrego Desert State Park

15. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Named after the Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and the Spanish word borrego, or bighorn sheep, this 600,000 acre desert park features wildflowers, palm grove oases, and a variety of cactus as well as desert bird and wildlife that ranges from roadrunners and Swainson’s hawks to kit foxes and bighorn sheep. The largest state park in California, Anza-Borrego is an anchor in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve. Here you can go camping, hiking, bird and wildlife watching, star gazing, and attend ranger programs and interpretive events. The Park’s Visitor Center is on the outskirts of the small village of Borrego Springs, and along with informative exhibits, features a nature trail through the desert garden, complete with desert pupfish. See  

16. Historic Julian
About a 45 minute side trip from Borrego Springs, Julian a popular historic gold mining town located up in the Cuyamaca Mountains of San Diego County. This four-season destination, that includes the communities of Wynola and Santa Ysabel, offers a myriad of activities including farm-to-table dining, wine tasting and u-pick orchards, art galleries and specialty shopping, museums and gold mine tours, hiking and bird watching in one of the many parks, boating and fishing at Lake Cuyamaca, special events and festivals. Learn more on

From here, the Juan Bautista de Anza Trail heads west through Hemet and the Southern California wine region of Temecula, out to Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, and north to the Presidio of San Francisco. Happy Trails!

Following the Anza Trail Pt 1
Tubac to Tucson Pt 2
Tucson to Casa Grande Pt 3
Gila Bend to Yuma Pt 4
Yuma to Borrego Springs Pt 5 (this page)

The Peanut Patch

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