Ocotillo Travel Guide

  • Ocotillo
    by malecon
  • Ocotillo
    by malecon
  • Ocotillo
    by malecon

Ocotillo Things to Do

  • Desert View Tower

    The history of Desert View Tower is a testament to the spirit, inspiration and imagination that can come out of such a barren, desolate place.The hot and cold springs that are found in this area are probably the catalyst for the attention and settlement of one part of the desert over another. Jacumba is a very small town that had once been a...

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  • Desert Views

    The predominate must see in Ocotillo is the landscape. On the surface it seems desolate, but on closer inspection this rocky version is teeming with life and in the spring time the contrast between the rocky landscape and vibrant color of blooming flowers can be quite impressive. Beyond this point is a place called Borego Badlands and four million...

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Ocotillo Restaurants

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    by lmkluque Updated Dec 5, 2012

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    The convenience of having a General Store near you camp site is useful when you realize that you've forgotten to pack something esential, but it can be more expensive at this out of the way place. Usually the items stocked are limited, so you'll have to make do.

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    • Budget Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Desert

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Ocotillo Nightlife

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    by lmkluque Updated Dec 5, 2012

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    Other than having a few drinks and telling Ghost Stories around the camp fire, the best time to shower or wash clothes is after sundown.

    In the restrooms you'll find an area with showerheads along the wall, so you can take a shower--no privacy. Here, you see it is possible to wash your clothes. Make sure you've asked great-grandma how it works before leaving for this vacation.

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    • Desert
    • National/State Park
    • Budget Travel

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Ocotillo Transportation

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    by lmkluque Updated Dec 5, 2012

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    The usual way of getting there is by car. There is a small air strip for those who have a small private plane. There is no public transportation out here.

    A view from Highway S-2 the main road running through the park.
    Hiking, ATV's (All Terrain Vehicles) and cars.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Desert
    • Road Trip

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Ocotillo Local Customs

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    by lmkluque Updated Dec 5, 2012

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    Spring time in the desert can be spectacular! Cactus flowers are quite beautiful. There are people who come out to the desert in the Spring time just to see the desert in bloom. I guess it's the contrast of bright spots of color in such a barren landscape that is so enchanting. But I do admit that the flowers produce by some cacti are more brilliant than the average flower.

    However, most of the flowers in this desert are not from cacti, they are mostly weeds or wild flowers. Still, they do show up better in this landscape.

    Related to:
    • Desert
    • National/State Park
    • Photography

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Ocotillo Warnings and Dangers

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    by lmkluque Updated Dec 5, 2012

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    Just a reminder--and during this drive, a reminder is necessary--that civilization is not THAT far away.

    Helicopters search the area, for lost or stranded motorists. Driving in the desert can be dangerous, especially if your car breaks down. Bring plenty of water in case the car over heats. Don't wander off, stay with your car and wait for help to arrive.

    It would be a good idea to let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return home. Then if something happens, there will be someone to send out the rescue team when you don't show up in time.

    Related to:
    • Desert
    • Adventure Travel
    • National/State Park

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Ocotillo Tourist Traps

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    by lmkluque Updated Dec 5, 2012

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    Side roads that lead to nowhere.

    This post was near a dirt road that seemed to lead nowhere. Reading the sign made us laugh and broke the tension. For a closer look at this humorous sign, see the travelogue for this page.

    Related to:
    • Desert
    • Adventure Travel
    • National/State Park

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Ocotillo What to Pack

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    by lmkluque Updated Dec 5, 2012

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    Luggage and bags: Bring a light weight backpack to carry essentials, especially when exploring by foot.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Sturdy boots, much of the ground is rocky and there are snakes living out here. The only "dangerous" snake in this area is the Rattle Snake. It is poisonous, but comes with a warning. It's tail is equipped with a rattle. If you hear it, stop don't move--unless you are actually standing on the snake--these snakes aren't normally agressive and are as afraid of you as you will be of them. Just slowly back away and give the snake room to retreat as well.

    Bring a sweater or jacket as the night temperatures drop pretty low once the sun goes down. Shorts for around the camp site, but long pants for hiking, there are thorny thickets that will scratch bare legs. Bring a bathing suit for those relaxing dips into the Hot Springs pools.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: As well as water for the car, bring drinking water to replenish the dehydration caused by the heat of the sun. High level sunscreen and apply frequently.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Adventure Travel
    • Desert

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Ocotillo Off The Beaten Path

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    by lmkluque Updated Dec 5, 2012

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    Canyon Sin Nombre (Canyon Without Name)

    No one lives out here to care if there is a canyon or to name it. Exploring the desert can lead to isolated areas like this. So remote, that a name isn't necessary.

    Of course, there are lots of people who love the desert and come out here as often as they can. I'm not one of those people so finding this sign made me laugh.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Desert
    • National/State Park

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Ocotillo Favorites

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    by lmkluque Updated Dec 5, 2012

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    Favorite thing: Drive from Ocotillo to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The easiest way to get to the desert is from Interstate 8. Drive east on Interstate 8 until you come to the S2 (Ocotillo) exit, turn left and you are on the first portion of your journey into the desert.

    For miles and miles you will see shrub brush and a few plants with colorful flowers, no building, no sign of human or animal life.

    Fondest memory: The awesome views!

    Hills, valleys, more hills, more valleys and mountains can be seen for miles from this vantage point. (And this is not even 'Death Valley!')

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Desert
    • National/State Park

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