Anza Borrego State Park
Great pictures of the Anza Borrego Palm Canyon hiking trail and its amazing palm tree oasis in the Anza Borrego desert near Borrego Springs, California
Magical mystery awaits in the sheltering shade of the palm giants. If there is such a place as "Where the Wild Things Are", this might be it.
Deep shade under the massive palms provides a remarkably cool respite after the unrelenting heat of the desert sun. I can imagine that every desert creature in the area would like to spend the hot days of summer in their deep sheltering shade. Here the green fronds of young palm trees grow into an opening between the trunks.
A cluster of mammoth palm trees dominate an oasis, to one side of the narrow canyon floor. The grove of palm trees, 1.5 miles up the trail, is a goal worth hiking toward. Young palms and cattails grow in profusion in the water at their base. Their oversized proportions are wonderfully suited to the grand scale of nature found throughout Palm Canyon. Boulders at the base of the canyon and in the stream are white; their "desert rust" has been washed away by the water, which occasionally floods the canyon with enough force to re-arrange even the most massive boulders in its path.
Clear cool water spills down a creek within the gradually narrowing canyon walls. The path begins to rise more steeply. At times we climg enchanting rock stairs shaded by huge boulders.
The sandy floor of the canyon balances the deep tones of the encroaching mountains with a whimsical yet substantial display of boulders and, in springtime, delicate desert flowers. In vibrant shades of yellow, red, blue and even white on green, flowers draw the eyes along enticing sandy paths among smaller boulders at the canyon's mouth, and between larger boulders deeper in the canyon.
Palm Canyon is a desert beauty that holds a remarkable oasis. Grand yet forbidding hillsides reach from the sandy canyon floor into cool blue sky. Each hillside displays in rich red rock its own age-old history of awesome upheaval. Mountain sheep live and can occasionally be seen among the rocky boulders along their steep sides.
Palm Canyon is a Master Composition of Nature
Hiking trail only. Horseback rides are available in other regions of the park:
Text and photos are copyrighted by
Kathleen Kenner & the Kenner Ranch
Re-use by permission only.