Located 78 miles (approx.) northeast of San Diego in the Borrego Valley, tourist season begins in the area around late October and early November when the days become pleasant and not too hot, hovering anywhere from the 80s to 60s. Borrego Springs Days Desert Festival held usually the last week in October brings locals and visitors out to see a parade, carnival, live music and festivities.
One of the best known events is the crazy Pegleg Liars Contest in April. You can guess what the event is about--who can tell the biggest story, basically.
Borrego Springs has an estimated year-round population of 3,000 people, and the winter tourist season swells to around 10,000 when the snowbirds arrive. To put it into perspective of how HOT summers are and how NICE winters can be, the hottest temp on record was 121 degrees Fahrenheit, and the average winter daytime temp is more like 69 in the months of December and January,
Getting to Borrego Springs: San Diego is 78 miles west, Julian is approx. 20 miles west, Palm Springs is 90 miles north, and the Salton Sea is 30 miles east. County Highways S-3 and S-22 meet in downtown Borrego Springs.
Borrego Springs, CA - Anza Borrego State Park
Borrego Springs, California is a place you can only enjoy by visiting. This rare gem with 3,000 population is surrounded by the largest state park in the contiguous United States, the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. In the spring time after a rain, the desert comes alive with stunning flowers in bloom. It's truly a sight to behold! Some compare Borrego Springs to Palm Springs a long time ago when there were no stoplights, little traffic and a tranquil lifestyle.
Borrego Springs is not desolate, however. The California state park attracts thousands of people who venture out to experience this treasure. For those seeking the creature comforts, you can stay at one of the hotels in Borrego Springs, dine on a home-cooked, hot meal and venture out to the desert during the daylight. There's a lot of exploration in store for you in the park which spans 900 square miles and is comprised of over 650,000 acres. Hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails, 12 wilderness areas and many species of wildlife such as golden eagles, mule deer and big horn sheep can be experienced in this wonderland where nature's hand touches everything.
Located in eastern San Diego County, with portions extending east into Imperial County and north into Riverside County, it takes 2 hours to drive to Borrego Springs from San Diego, Riverside, and Palm Springs and approximately 3 hours to get there from Disneyland. Many visitors approach from the east or west via Highways S22 and 78. From the coast, these highways descend from the heights of the Peninsular range of mountains with spectacular views of the great bowl of the Colorado Desert. Highway S2 enters the park from the south off of Interstate 8.
In addition to the desert park attraction, Borrego Springs holds festivals such as Circle of Art in March, Peg Leg Liar's Contest at Peg Leg Smith Monument in April, Cinco de Mayo in May and Borrego Days Desert Festival, the last week in October. The festival includes a parade, the Miss Borrego Pageant, a carnival, live music, arts and crafts.
Peg Leg Smith Monument celebrates a Gold Rush character named Thomas Long Smith or Peg Leg Smith. Peg Leg Smith was a prospector and story teller unmatched by most who knew him during the early to mid-1800s. Smith claimed he found pure gold nuggets in the Borrego Springs' hidden hills. Though his golden treasure was lost somewhere in the hills where he could not find it, today you can remember him by throwing rocks on a pile near the marker that commemorates this character. The stone monument and plaque says, Let those who seek Peg Leg's gold add ten rocks to this pile. You can find this monument on Pegleg Road exit to Henderson Canyon Road a few miles from the Borrego Springs Airport on Highway 22.