I was asked the other day if I have ever been to Borrego Springs and I sheepishly admitted that no, not only I had never been to this place, but never heard of it, either. I had to make up for the time lost and decided to drive up there the very next day. The trip took about an hour and a half from Palm Springs and it was absolutely delightful to cruise through the magnificent landscapes of the Anza and Borrego State Park, the largest park in California. It’s not a park in the conventional sense of the word, but rather a desertic plateau with rock formations entirely different than the ones found in Palm Springs and Joshua Tree. There are mini canyons made of red clay followed by vast meadows dotted with green ocotillos and bushes framed by the majestic Santa Rosa mountains. About half hour into the park, the familiar palms start to reappear again and houses emerge in a disorganized order on both sides of the street leading to a big roundabout–the heart of Borrego Springs.
This unincorporated community of approximately 3,000 people is possibly the loveliest I’ve ever seen. The quaint downtown features an eclectic array of architectural styles -including santa fe’ and old west- that all work together well. Perhaps, the best part of Borrego Springs is the sense of tranquility that it instills, I really enjoyed driving around town on the rolling roads and spotting old churches and buildings tucked into the meadows. I kept staring at the greenery and the surrounding mountains and could not stop thinking that my blissful state must have been originated by the elevation. But at 597 feet, Borrego Springs has roughly the same elevation as Palm Springs…so, I came to the conclusion that this place is just magical or it’s probably the absence of traffic lights! (Who would have thought traffic lights could cause me so much stress?) It is precisely the lack of streetlights and traffic lights that makes Borrego Springs one of a kind and California’s only certified Dark-Sky Community by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA).
I didn’t have the chance to stay until dark, but I had the best time looking for the giant iron installations spread along the main road at sunset. There are dozens of them including horses, camels, elephants, dinosaurs, and dragons and they’re all larger than life and surreal with the backdrop of the mountains. I felt like a kid again, today. Thanks for the magic, Borrego Springs!