Our friendly neighbors at Joshua Tree National Park recommended visiting Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (AnzBo) since the wild flowers are supposed to be in full bloom this time of the year. Since our original plan to explore the Mojave Trails did not pan out, we had one more day before our vacation ended. We decided to go home first to resupply and cleanup before heading to Palm Canyon campground at AnzBo. We called the Palm Canyon campground the day before and the ranger informed us all campsites were booked but we could still try for a walk-up tomorrow at noon.
We arrived the next day at noon. The weather really warmed up from what we were used to the past few days in the high desert. Luckily, there was one campground available at the Palm Canyon non-hookup campsite and we were able to reserve it! Camping at Palm Canyon is $25 a night and dogs are allowed on the campsite even though they are not allowed on any non-paved trails at the park.
We hung out at the campground for awhile and drove to the park visitor center later in the afternoon. The weather was still very warm and the place was filled with day hikers eager to see the wild flowers. We took a walk around the quarter mile Visitor Center All-Access Nature Trail and enjoyed the wild flowers blooming there. Next, we drove out of the park to a field just outside of town where the wild flowers are blooming. The rangers informed us we were about a week early from the full bloom. The Desert Sand Verbena was the primary bloom in the field, we could smell the flowers the minute we got out of the car!
The blooms were beautiful but it was too crowded for our liking. We personally thought the wild flowers we saw in Mojave National Preserve was more impressive. We went back to our campground to try to cool Baby S off and waited until sunset before we set out for another hike.
The park immediately cooled down once the sun went away, making it the perfect weather for a night hike. We walked the Visitor Center/Campground Trail which was about 1.2 miles round trip and enjoyed being outside. We discussed how fortunate we were to snatch the last camp spot and enjoy the trail without the day hiking crowd.
Before heading home the next day, we hiked the mile-long Panoramic Overlook Trail in the morning. Dogs are not allowed on this trail, so we left Dakota in the van with all the fans on. L was worried the Sportsmobile would have difficulty climbing out of the canyon in hot weather, so we made sure we left home before noon.
Read more about our Southern California desert road trip here.