Camping for free at Anza Borrego State Desert?? Shut up!!.

By Posted in - Camping & Slider & U.S.A. on June 13th, 2010

A few weeks ago we took a hike through the Anza Borrego desert. We ended up there by accident but it was awesome because it was right during the blooming of the desert wild flowers. I have always wanted to see the desert flowers and I was not disappointed!

We took a day hike called the Palm Canyon Hike (6.5 miles R/T) through the desert which led to a huge canyon filled with palm trees.

Palm trees, flowers and a flowing riving in the middle of the dry, arid desert! It was awesome.

I love the desert and this state park was really beautiful!

However one thing that makes it even better – is that you can Camp for free!

We did camp here and I actually forgot to take pictures in order to do a proper review but I’ve included some basic info below:

We found out about the free sites after we already paid which was a bummer! Here’s the brief rundown on the spot we camped at:

The site was $25/night, showers were about $2 and the campground was the beginning of the Palm Canyon Hike, which was really convenient. Overall, it was a really nice spot.


if you visit the park I recommend stopping in the visitors center and asking them where the free campgrounds are. Some of them sounded quite nice and I remember one in particular was just right across the street from a paid, private campground and I was told you could go over and use their showers. I think the name of that one was Yaqui Well but I am not 100% sure. The free sites are primitive and I don’t think they have water but I believe they have chemical toilets. If you want to have a fire you have to have a metal container that you bring with you. I was told that most people use the top of a tin trash can for their fire. Again, the visitors center will be able to tell you exactly what to expect and where to go.

We had planned to head back another time and take advantage of the free camping sites (and take pics for a review) but we simply haven’t had the time to get back out there.

The other thing I want to note is that besides the designated free camping sites you can actually camp for free anywhere in Anza Borrego state park.


You can simply pull off the side of the road and camp. It is the only state park in California that allows this. It’s pretty old school and kind of cool if you think about it.

If you’ve read my other posts about the high costs associated with camping in California state parks, you’ll know this is pretty amazing!

I definitely recommend checking out Anza Borrego. It is a beautiful spot and it’s only about 2 hours from San Diego. It’s also a perfect stopover if you are on the way to Joshua Tree since it is just about halfway.

I will have some photos of our hike that I will post in the next day or so and that will give you an idea of just how beautiful the area is.

I also posted some photos of desert flowers last week you can look at but for now I will leave you with these funny pictures of Randy strutting his stuff on the hike.

Did you like this article? If so, consider retweeting below or stumbling it. Better yet sign up for our RSS feed OR get the goodies delivered directly to your inbox! Consider yourself hugged. :)

*Please remember all photos on this website are copyrighted and property of, & Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you want to use one of them please contact me to ask first because I do love to share and I would be flattered. Thanks!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

(3) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Bridgette -

    August 2, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    yup, these photos are the bomb. Randy looks like a freaking rockstar! 🙂

  • Scott – Ordinary Traveler -

    April 9, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    I’ve been meaning to head over there this year. Those flowers are amazing. With all the rain we got this year I bet they are extra spectacular.

    • Bethany -

      April 9, 2011 at 8:40 pm

      Oh I bet you’re right. Definitely go over – it was really cool and we had a great day hiking there. 🙂 @Scott – Ordinary Traveler,