Not 10 miles down the road from my disappointment at Agua Caliente County Park is free boondock camping and hiking at Mountain Palm Springs in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
There are two small groves, not as large as Palm Canyon. The trunks completely cloaked in a frond skirt reveal an opening I’d have to shrink to 10” tall to get into. Makes me wonder what all is living in there.
In this otherwise dry desert environment it is thrilling to see a patch of green in the water coming from a crack in the rock and to walk on damp sand in the wash where water quickly disappears into the earth.
I think about how water tumbles some boulders and swirls around others, slowly breaking up the granitic rock into pea-size cubes and smaller. Water drilled holes add to natures sculptures. I called this one Owl Rock. Wouldn’t you agree?
So nice to sit in the sun, a light breeze rattles the palms, quiet at noon when the creatures do not stir. I could be here for a while contemplating the palm patterns. Which was more relaxing than taking a selfie.
Hour in, hour there, half hour back. My usual pokiness.
Went back out for a walk about 3:15p into the first canyon on the left. Before I even walked away from the camper I saw a coyote, then a second. They were headed up canyon probably for water. But then the neighbors dog barked at them and they both bolted up the hillside amongst the rocks.
What to know
The S2 is the only paved road through the southern part of Anza-Borrego. The firm sand 2-track with a few turnouts is only about 1/2 mile to trail head parking for Mountain Palm Springs. A short side road offers an area for RV parking near a vault toilet that I parked far away from. There was absolutely no cell signal. Bow Willow camp just down the road also offers vault toilets, picnic tables, shade ramadas and fire rings for $15/night. Bring your own water, and plenty of it, more during the heat of summer.
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