December 4, 2011 (Anza Borrego)Winter is a beautiful time to visit our desert region. The Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is offering a series of interpretive events in December to help you explore the area’s many wonders. Options include hikes to hidden canyons and caves, bird watching walks, lectures on paleontology and archaeology, animal tracking, a sunset/moonlit hike, and much more. Scroll down for a complete list of activities and links to register.
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is located within Southern California, with 600,000 acres that includes one-fifth of San Diego County, Anza-Borrego is the largest state park in California. The park includes 500 miles of dirt roads, twelve designated wilderness areas, and 110 miles of hiking trails to provide visitors with many opportunities to experience.
More than 85 million people visit California State Parks each year. The Department employs over 700 peace officers to safeguard both visitors and the resources themselves. State Park Peace Officer Rangers and Lifeguards provide not only public safety law enforcement and aquatic rescue services; they also provide public education through interpretation.
For more information contact:theVisitor Center: 760-767-4205 | Park Headquarters: 760-767-5311
Interpretive Events Offered In December:
Sunset/Moonlight Hike -Thursday, December 8, 2011, 3:00 p.m., - 4 Hours. Join Volunteer Naturalists for a desert hike to enjoy the sunset over the mountains and return under the nearly full moon to get a different perspective of the desert. Bring warm clothes and a flashlight, limited to 15 participants.
Paleontology Lecture - Odontology: What Teeth Tell Us - Friday, December 9, 2011, 9:00 a.m., - 3 Hours.Dr. Lyndon Murray, District Paleontologist, will help us discover all that we can learn from the teeth of animals and fossils. Open to the public. Meet in the Discovery Lab at the Visitor Center.
Canyon of Ten Caves Discovery Hike - Saturday, December 10, 2011, 9:00 a.m. - 7 Hours. Join a retired Ranger on this moderately strenuous 2-mile hike through the high cliffs, alcoves and narrow passageways of Arroyo Tapiado Mud Caves. The breathtaking views from the summit are phenomenal and well worth the effort. Call 760-767-4063 for details and registration. Fee: $70/$60 for ABF members.
Garden Walk- Small World - Saturday, December 10, 2011, 1:30 p.m. - 1 Hour. Everyone is impressed with the vast dimensions and stunning vistas of Anza Borrego Desert State Park. The desert is equally impressive on a micro-scale. Stretch your perspective and explore the natural history of the park up close and personal with a Volunteer Naturalist.
Campfire - “Boulders, Palm Trees and Water, Oh MY!” - Saturday, December 10, 2011, 7:30 p.m. - 1 Hour.What happens when a 16 foot wall of water comes pouring out of Borrego Palm Canyon? Join Ranger Jennifer Rodriguez at the Borrego Palm Canyon Campfire Center as she tells all.
Hike - Roving Naturalist in Borrego Palm Canyon - Sunday, December 11, 2011, 9:00 a.m. - 3 Hours. Volunteer Naturalist will be roaming the Borrego Palm Canyon Trail searching for bighorn sheep and other interesting features along the trail. This is not a guided hike.
Hike – Voices, Visions, and Views of Alcoholic Pass - Sunday, December 11, 2011, 10:00 a.m. - 3 Hours. Hike Alcoholic Pass. Join Volunteer Naturalists to experience and discover the prehistory, history, and present day journey of those who have used this trail for food, water, work, and fun. Meet at the north end of DiGiorgio Road. This is a strenuous but relatively short hike, bring water, snacks and wear hiking boots.
Talk - “Song Dog” - The Wiley Coyote - Sunday, December 11, 2011, 11:00 a.m. – 45 Min. Have you heard them at night? Have you seen them…even during the day? Coyotes are increasing their range and increasing their numbers, and they’re right here in Anza-Borrego and in town too. Join a Volunteer Naturalist as the myths and realities are explored of the desert neighbor.
Lecture – The Ocotillo: Not Just Another Pretty Plant - Monday, December 12, 2011,
10:00 a.m. - 1 Hour. This talk is sponsored by the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Botany Society and is open to the public. Meet in the Discovery Lab at the Visitor Center.
Talk – Mustard Presentation - Wednesday, December 14, 2011, 6:30 p.m. - 2 Hours
Join a Senior Park Aide to learn about the invasive Sahara mustard that is threatening the local wildflowers. Meet in the Discovery Lab at the ABDSP Visitor Center.
Hike – Earthquake Valley Panorama - Thursday, December 15, 2011, 9:00 a.m. - 3 Hours. Join Volunteer Naturalists, for a moderate 4-mile hike up Plum Canyon to an overlook high over Earthquake Valley. Discover some interesting plants and geological features along the way. Meet at the entrance to Plum Canyon off Highway 78.
Talk – Tracks Tell Tales - Saturday, December 17, 2011, 9:30 a.m. - 1 Hour. Tracks tell the fascinating stories of the lives of our animal neighbors in the Anza Borrego Desert. Meet our Volunteer Naturalist in the Discovery Lab, and start to learn to read these tales of life, and death, in the desert.
Talk - Borregos in Their Park - Saturday, December 17, 2011, 11:00 a.m. - 1 Hour.
The Desert Bighorns, you can learn what makes these animals the favorites of Park visitors. Join a Volunteer Naturalist as the world of the Desert Bighorn is explored.
Hike – Discovering the Archaeological History of the Morteros - Saturday, December 17, 2011, 12:00 p.m. - 2 Hours. Discover the hidden secrets of an ancient Native American village site. Join a Volunteer Archaeologist and a Naturalist to explore both rock art and historic milling features. This 1.5 mile hike is uneven terrain. Bring the usual water, hat, and sturdy footwear. Meet at the Morteros trailhead in Blair Valley, 3 miles off Highway S-2.
Campfire - Bats of Borrego and Beyond- Saturday, December 17, 2011, 7:30 p.m. - 1 Hour. Find out why Bats the mysterious night flyers are disappearing and how to help protect them. Meet the Ranger at the Borrego Palm Canyon Campfire center.
Lecture – California’s Fading Wildflowers: Lost Legacy and Biological Invasions. - Saturday, December 17, 2011, 7:30 p.m. – 90 Min. Early Spanish explorers found springtime California covered with spectacular carpets of wildflowers, today; invading plant species have devastated this nearly forgotten botanical heritage. The speaker will discuss the changes in our desert’s landscape over the past three centuries, and bring new perspective to topics including restoration ecology, conservation, and fire managements. The lecture is at the Borrego Springs Performing Arts Center and will be followed by refreshments. A $5.00 donation is suggested.
Hike - Roving Naturalist in Borrego Palm Canyon Sunday, December 18, 2011, 9:00 a.m. - 3 Hours. A Volunteer Naturalist will be roaming the Borrego Palm Canyon Trail searching for bighorn sheep and other interesting features along the trail. This is not a guided hike.
Hike – Squeeze through the Slot Tuesday, December 20, 2011, 9:00 a.m. - 3 Hours
Join Volunteer Naturalists on a moderate 3-mile round trip hike through a winding slot canyon with rugged walls, overhanging rocks, and some surprising wild flowers. You will have to negotiate some tight squeezes and a short climb up a very steep hill. Bring the usual water, hat, and sturdy footwear. Meet at Buttes Pass Road, 1.5 miles east of Borrego Springs Road on Highway 78.
Talk - Ok, Now What Do We Do? Monday, December 26, 2011, 2:00 p.m. - 1 Hour. Join a Volunteer Naturalist for a slide show presentation meant to provide an overview of the many activities and sights of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. This series of slides will make you want to get out and visit some of the many wonders of California’s largest state park. Meet in the Visitor Center Discovery Lab.
Walk - Bird Walk – (all birding levels welcome) Tuesday, December 27, 2011, 7:30 a.m. 90 Min. Join a Volunteer Naturalist for a walk around the Visitor Center vicinity looking for the common birds of our desert. Meet in the parking lot. Rain cancels and bring binoculars.
Walk – Behind the Ghost Mountain Story Wednesday, December 28, 2011, 9:00 a.m. - 3 Hours. Learn about the Marshal South family and their experiment in primitive living on a remote mountain top. Join Volunteer Naturalists on this 2 mile round-trip, steep but scenic walk up Ghost Mountain. Bring water, hat, and sturdy footwear. Meet at the Marshal South Homesite Trailhead in Blair Valley.
Hike - Roving Naturalist in Borrego Palm Canyon, Wednesday, December 28, 2011, 9:00 a.m. 3 Hours. Volunteer Naturalist will be roaming the Borrego Palm Canyon Trail searching for bighorn sheep and other interesting features along the trail. This is not a guided hike.
Hike – Calcite Canyon Spectacular, Thursday, December 29, 2011, 8:00 a.m. - 4 Hours.
Join a Volunteer Naturalist and explore the sandstone canyon country around the Calcite Mine. You will follow the Middle Fork of Palm Wash up over some small dry falls to a slot canyon, check out the mine, and return by way of the road. Meet at the Calcite Mine Road, Mile Marker 38.1 east on Highway S-22. Extra parking is available at Mile Marker 38. Wear sturdy footwear, a hat, and carry water. This hike is rated strenuous.
Talk – Tailgate Tours Friday, December 30, 2011, 12:00 p.m. – 1 Hour. Join the only CA state park pilot, for a special presentation about her responsibilities and see the plane up close. Program will meet and be conducted at the Borrego Springs airport. Take Palm Canyon Drive east from Christmas Circle to S22. Airport is on the left.
Talk - Ok, Now What Do We Do? Friday, December 30, 2011, 2:00 p.m. - 1 Hour. Join a Volunteer Naturalist for a slide show presentation meant to provide an overview of the many activities and sights of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Meet in the visitor center discovery lab
Talk – Tracks Tell Tales Saturday, December 31, 2011, 9:30 a.m. - 1 Hour.
Tracks tell the fascinating stories of the lives of our animal neighbors in the Anza Borrego Desert. Meet a Volunteer Naturalist- Tracker in the Discovery Lab, and start to learn to read these tales of life and death, in the desert.
New Year’s Day Resolution Hike: Hike Alcoholic Pass Sunday, January 1, 2011, 10:00 a.m. - 3 Hours. Join Volunteer Naturalists to experience and discover the prehistory, history, and present-day journey of those who have used this trail for food, water, work, and fun. This is a 3-hour excursion into the pass. Meet at the north end of DiGiorgio Road. This is a strenuous but relatively short hike, bring water, snacks and wear hiking boots.
A Description of the Junior Rangers Programs - "Junior Rangers" is a statewide educational program in which children aged 7 to 12 may participate. The program emphasizes stewardship of park resource issues to global concerns. "Junior Rangers" gather at more than 70 state parks, from the redwood region, to the high Sierra, to the sunny Southern California beaches. They play games, hike trails, discover tracks, and observe wildlife, all while making friends. There are 12 different activities to the Program. Geology, ecology, history, safety, plants, and wild life are some of the activity areas that will be explored in the program. The program is offered free of charge to visitors who have already paid park entrance or camping fees.
The Junior Rangers Programs are available on the following dates:
Monday, December 26, Monday, December 27, Wednesday, December 28, Thursday, December 29, Friday, December 30, Saturday, December 31, 2011. The Program is a special program for children ages 7-12 .to discover secrets of the desert environment. Sign up at the Visitor Center as space is limited. All programs began at 11:00 a.m., and are approximately 45 minutes.