Anza Borrego is perfect for van lifers, but there is more than just wildflowers. Although the area is well known by instagrammers searching for the perfect super bloom wildflower shot, the off season will give you far less traffic with plenty to see. Earlier this year we were in San Diego for an event and I had the Borrego Serpent pinned to my map of ‘want to go’ places.
Just outside of Anza Borrego State Park is the small town of Borrego Springs, a 2 hour drive from San Diego this location is perfect for van lifers. Whether you are full time looking for a fun place to stop off along your journey or a California weekender wanting a quick fun trip this place is great! As you drive into Borrego Springs, along the outskirts of the town, you will find a metal safari of ancient and mythical creatures who once possibly roamed the desert sands.
Monsters in the Anza Borrego Desert
Landowner Denis Avery commissioned the sculptures from artist Ricardo Breceda, giving people a reason to visit the area beyond super flowers. The older sculptures are inspired by animals which existed in the Anza-Borrego area during the Plio-Pleistocene age, while newer pieces have opened up to some more modern ideas.
The metal safari is perfect for van lifers because the private property and artworks are free to the public and you are even welcomed to stay for short term camping! You can drive right up to the art with your vehicle and take yourself on a metal safari, again perfect for van lifers who are wanting to let their vehicle do the posing!
Where to stay in Anza Borrego
You can stay right near the sculptures if you are self contained. If you need a bathroom we recommend taking a 20 minute drive to Culp Valley Camp which is perfect for van lifers. This is where we stayed, there are areas where groups can park together or single pull in spaces for those wanting privacy. There is a short dirt road to get into the campground and the upper area is easily accessible for 2wd, the lower area had quite a lot of washouts so you may prefer 4×4 for those spaces. Culp Valley is free and has pit toilets available. We also saw a lot of vans parked around the main traffic circle in Borrego Springs which had a park and bathrooms in the centre.
If you’re looking for a location perfect for van lifers then check out Anza Borrego during the off season, which is any time outside of Feb-March. If you’re ready to brave the crowds then Feb-March is the best time for wildflower blooms.