Anza Borrego is a giant California state park in the desert. It is about 40 miles south of Plam Springs - as the crow flies, but not as one can drive. There are mountains in between - so you go around and it is about 2 hours from Palm Springs or 90 minutes from here, Carlsbad, where Ed's meetings are.
There is a Palm Canyon hike which is about 3 miles round trip. I did it yesterday and it was fantastic.
Oddly, this is a hike I do occasionally, almost always in March. It is kind of a birthday hike.
The ocotillo is blooming somewhere on the trip as you have to go down the mountain to get into the desert. And the variation in height gives different microclimates - so the ocotillo bloom along the mountain somewhere for a month.
Then there are the Big Horn Sheep. They are endangered, but these have been separated from other herds for so long, they have bred out most of their fear of people. And, in March, they are raising their young. Since it was a very dry year, they come down to the oasis to drink.
|I have a lot of pictures of this one, as he kept coming closer and closer.|
|This Bull was only about 20 feet from me for a while|
|Mom in front, 2 kids on the rocks behind her|
Regarding the palm trees. These are one of the very very few stands of California Palm left in the wild. They were very common thousands of years ago, but the desert grew and the palm groves collapsed. The few stands of wild palms left are near oasis where water is forced to the surface. The California desert has quite a few of these oasis because of earthquakes / plate movement.