Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is a desolate and fascinating place to visit. The landscape is at once awesome and frightening, especially for anyone not familiar with this type of desert. This is the largest State Park in California. There is not much in the way of creature comforts in this huge State Park, but for nature lovers it is a chance to experience another kind of nature, from beaches or forests.
There are camping sites, but a simple day trip would be possibe while staying in San Diego and in my opinion, unless one is a die-hard desert fan, it is best to spend only a day here for the experience of it.
More detailed information for this area is on my Ocotillo page. I've given information and my impressions in hope that something may inspire you to visit. Please keep in mind that their peak season is between November and April because it gets really hot out here in the summer. Also with about five hundred miles of road in the Park, so much more than my limited view can be experienced, but for a day trip the area I share should be enough.
The edge of the desert, right where the mountains begin, is fascinating to me. Like the change in the seasons . . . not quite believable. Like the first moments of each flight . . . in the air where, just before, you were on the ground. But unlike the seasons or flight time is not an issue. You can stand and stare . . . stand on the slope and stare at the desert . . . stand in the desert and stare at the slope. A little of each is what the palm trees choose to do.
Borrego Springs is a desert next to San DIego. It's one hour driving and the way to the desert is so funy because in San Diego maybe is a sunny day when you croos the montains in cold and maybe raining (as you see in the pic) and then at the desert is hot and dry.