Anza Borrego Desert State Park

I joined a wonderful photo club while residing near Temecula, CA called the Inland Empire Photo Club. While taking a class from wildlife photographer Richard Cronberg Cronberg Photography, he invited our whole class to come to the club meeting. They are the nicest photographers I’ve ever met! So willing to share their expertise, warm, inviting – it was a pleasure getting to know them. I had the opportunity to travel with some of them to the Anza Borrego Desert State Park. I rode with Chai who owns Photography by Chai gallery on Front Street in Temecula and his wife Louise. We arrived fairly early – which was good considering the temperatures were already heating up. It is a 1.5 mile hike into the oasis at the back of the canyon in the park. While hiking out to the oasis, we passed many palm tree trunks that had been washed down the canyon during rain storms. These were BIG trunks – probably 4 or 5′ around. The power of water is amazing.

On the way to the park - gotta love those Holsteins!
On the way to the park – gotta love those Holsteins!
Beautiful rocks.
Beautiful rocks.
Sweet Louise.
Sweet Louise.
Water in the desert.
Water in the desert.
Flowers in the desert.
Flowers in the desert.
Yellow Cactus
Yellow Cactus
Easter Bunny?
Easter Bunny palm trunk?
Palm trees and water - this wasn't even the oasis yet.
Palm trees and water – this was just the beginning of the oasis.
Palm branches in the water.
Palm branches in the water.
This was part of the trail. A lot of the hike was what is called 'bouldering'.
This was part of the trail. A lot of the hike was what is called ‘bouldering’.

After hiking back out and having lunch, we traveled further into the desert, passing hundreds of red flowering Ocotillo Cactus, making a red glow over acres of cactus. Our destination was a slot canyon with no endearing qualities like blooming cactus, except for one spindly Ocotillo. It was very narrow, some turns had to be wiggled through. Tough carrying equipment through. I was surprised to see evidence of birds – there certainly wasn’t any water!

Ocotillo Cactus - they grow to 8-10' tall.
Ocotillo Cactus – they grow to 8-10′ tall.
Water carved sandstone.
Water carved sandstone.
Many scary spots to walk under.
Many scary spots to walk under.
Pretty narrow!
Pretty narrow!
Hmmm, do we trust it?
Hmmm, do we trust it?
Sun was just right! Chai helped me with this shot.
Sun was just right! Chai helped me with this shot.

8 Replies to “Anza Borrego Desert State Park”

    1. Thanks Carol-I miss that camera club! I also miss choir-tried Sweet Adeline’s up here, but felt I couldn’t commit fully due to moving back and forth. That’s a difficult transition from good old SATB with accompanist to barber shop 4 part with no accompaniment!


  1. More glorious shots! I like having the people in some so it gives perspective to the size of things. Are you missing GREEN yet? Livin’ the dream 🙂


    1. Thanks Bren,
      I couldn’t live too long in the Anza Borrego, but Bishop right now is green (where it’s irrigated) and they irrigate a lot around town. Drive a mile in any direction and it’s dry. There is still snow melt in the creek and Owens River tho. Wasn’t much snow cover this past winter, we’ll see what that’s like. Temps back up to 100 in a few days.


  2. What a great opportunity to learn with other photographers familiar with the area. Great shots and some real bravery needed to walk under some of those formations. Glo


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