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Posts Tagged ‘Anza-Borrego’

State Park Sunday: Anza Borrego

August 15th, 2009 by bsmith | 3 Comments | Filed in San Diego Adventures, San Diego Day Trips, San Diego State Parks, Spring Adventures, State Park Sundays

Anza Borrego State Park, California

The media is starting to recognize the dire straights faced by the California State Park System.  This past week, a local reporter came upon my blog and interviewed me for a piece on the California State Park closures.  Reading the North County Times article I learned something new.  The Colorado Desert District which includes local treasures such as Palomar Mountain State Park and Anza Borrego Desert State Park spends significantly more than it collects in revenue. This may put both parks on the closure list.Anza Borrego Desert State Park, wild flowers

Anza Borrego is famous for the wild flowers that bloom in the midst of the desert every spring.  Local volunteers  in the area come together to greet and assist the large numbers of visitors who flock to Anza Borrego in order to experience this natural wonder.  During my parents last visit  the line was so long that they were unable to enter the visitor’s center!

Fields of Gold, Anza Borrego Desert State Park

I didn’t make the trek to go wildflower hunting last spring, but I was certainly hoping to head out there this year since my little ones are a bit more patient and better travelers.  Unfortunately, if Anza Borrego is one of the one hundred parks that will be closed, my children will lose this opportunity to observe a desert spring.

Anza Borrego offers alot more than wild flowers.  It is the largest state park in Calfornia and has numerous hiking trails.  The website says that visitors may see a wide range of animals including roadrunners,  golden eagles, kit foxes, and big horn sheep.  If you plan to visit in the spring, check the park’s website for weekly flower updates. 

Hope that you are all enjoying your last days of summer.  State park closures will be announced after Labor Day.  Visit the California State Parks Foundation for updates and action alerts.  Also, Knudsen is making a donation for every one of their products purchased before September 6th up to $100,000.  Food for thought next time you head to the grocery store.

Happy Trails,


PS The beautiful pictures in this post were provided my my talented mother and Family Adventure Guidebooks correspondent Lee Gillin.  Thanks mom ;) .

PPS I am cheating a wee bit and entering this post in Delicious Baby’s Photo Friday in order to call attention to the potential closure of many of California’s State Parks.  To enjoy Debbie’s beautiful pictures of a Japanese Garden in Seattle and more great travel posts from around the world click here.


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Photo Friday: Nana and Baba’s Anza-Borrego Adventure

March 20th, 2009 by bsmith | 5 Comments | Filed in San Diego Day Trips
Nana and Baba Among the Wild Flowers at Anza-Borrego

Nana and Baba Among the Wild Flowers at Anza-Borrego

My kids are very lucky in that most of their Grandmas and Grandpas live near by.  My parents, affectionately referred to by the grand kids as Nana and Baba recently joined us in Carlsbad.  Even though my mom had been a Northern California girl all her live she has become acclimated some what to Southern California life.  Since they are retired they have the chance to take a break from watching grandkids and enjoy their own grown up adventures.  They fill me in on the beautiful places that I can not necessarily visit with small children, like the gardens at the Self-Realization Temple in Encinitas.  (My brood is apparently too loud for such a quiet, meditative locale.)   I’m keeping a list though.   As soon has these wild ones are tamed, we will be heading off on some of these great adventures.

Last week, Nana and Baba’s friend Karen took them to Anza-Borrego State Park.  Every March visitors are rewarded with a brief season of blooming wild flowers.  The rains were plentiful this winter and wildflowers continue to bloom in this area of the desert.   The location of the flowers is ever changing, however.  Check the Anza Borrego website for an up to date wildflower report  The visitor center which is staffed by local volunteers is also supposed to be very helpful, but also very busy during wild flower season.

I Loved the Colors on this Big Fat Caterpillar

I Loved the Colors on this Big Fat Caterpillar

Nana and Baba had a few set backs along the way.  At first the flowers were no where to be seen.  They were ready to head home when my Dad noted a few cars turning up a road.  They followed the road to the end and were  rewarded by a burst of color.   Karen’s favorite restaurant was booked solid, but they consulted with a local realtor and had an elegant lunch at a restaurant next to a golf course.  Just goes to show that a good adventure requires patience and creativity.

Flower season is almost over, so we may need to wait another year to try this adventure.  If you are free this weekend, the website reports that there are still some beautiful flowers tucked in the valleys.  If you have big kids who don’t mind the drive, it might still be worth the drive. Don’t delay, the flowers will be gone before you know it.

BREAKING NEWS!  Now we all have one more reason to take a family adventure to Anza-Borrego.  Dennis Avery, of the Avery label family has erected gigantic Ricardo Breceda sculptures of dinosaurs and other early inhabitants of the desert on his property.  Now that is art even my nine year old, Justin can appreciate!   Thanks to San Diego Travel Tips for alerting me to this fun family adventure opportunity.  If you are ready to explore the quirky side of San Diego…these ladies have some excellent suggestions.  Sign up today!

The flowers in these pictures were so beautiful I just had to share them with you.  If you want to enjoy a multitude of beautiful travel photos, head over to my friend Delicious Baby’s website today at  She is highlighting a fun Paris tradition and also features links to a number of beautiful travel photos from all over the world.

Happy Trails,


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