Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

“Are you here for the wildflowers?” the nice lady behind the counter at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park asked. We were. Along with what seemed to be Disney-sized crowds at the visitor’s center.

We expect hiking in the desert to be a bit of an isolated experience. The wildflowers clearly draw in much larger crowds.

We bravely faced the mob and raced them out to Hellhole Canyon Trail. Lost them in our dust the poor things.

I pressed a bit too hard today. I have been battling a bad left foot. And, after a pretty ambitious hike, my foot not only lost the battle, but lost the war. I am in a lot of pain as I write this post.

However, I did limp out with some wonderful shots of the Anza-Borrego Desert.

Wildflowers are the big draw. And they were impressive.

Yes, there were a few cacti here and there. I was not attached to any. Thankfully.

Some areas of the desert showed a bit of yellow.

Other areas had a carpet of yellow.

We took the trail most of the way to Maidenhair Falls. Roughly 5 miles with an elevation gain of 970 feet. Towards the end of the trail, we were literally clambering on and over boulders through a very narrow crevice in the canyon.

It was as advertised: a hellhole.

It did not look that way as we started the hike. Indeed, it seemed very friendly and inviting.

We came across several buried bodies on our way. Good thing we had brought along enough water.

Then came another, rather ominous sign.

I will spare you the gory details of what happened next. Too unpleasant to mention.

Back to wildflowers. Bright, beautiful and happy wildflowers.

The wildflowers really did blanket the desert floor creating a sharp counterpoint to the mountains in the background.

The temperatures in Southern California are still on the cool side. The relatively moderate weather coupled with the recent rains really made for some impressive desert blooms.

Look at all those wildflowers! In a desert setting no less.

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