There’s no question Palm Springs is an excellent place to spend the winter, but when you’re ready for a little adventure, consider a day trip down to Borrego Springs! It takes about ninety minutes to get there, and if you opt for the scenic route back to Palm Springs, the drive takes about an hour longer.
Last week we shared some of our favorite dog friendly things to do in Palm Springs, but traveling dogs like Ty and Buster get bored without variety, so we also mix in some day trips while the RV is parked for the winter. One of the more interesting places we’ve found with the boys is the little town of Borrego Springs.
Just 86 miles south of Palm Springs, Borrego Springs feels like the end of the world. And with a population of less than 3,500, it’s small-town atmosphere couldn’t be more appealing after a couple months in the busy Coachella Valley.
Downtown you’ll find a handful of restaurants, ice cream shops, and hotels – but the local art scene is what draws most people to Borrego. Palm Canyon Drive, the town’s main drag, is home to several galleries featuring local artists, and the Borrego Art Institute offers shows, classes, and events throughout the year. And the town’s most notable displays are the super-sized prehistoric and fantastical beasts stalking area road, which have been created by metal sculptor Ricardo Breceda.
Philanthropist Dennis Avery, heir to the Avery Label fortune, purchased several plots around Borrego Spring for conservation, and when he discovered Breceda, he commissioned him to construct more than 130 sculptures on his property. Called Galleta Meadows Estate, this land is open to the public for visitation, hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, photography, and bicycling year round – and pets are welcome!
The sculptures are spread out across several areas, so you’ll find plenty to explore and have a nice opportunity to stretch your legs after being in the car.
When you see the sign for Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, don’t get excited. As with many California state parks, pets are not allowed on any of the trails. In fact, the only dog friendly hike we found on our trip to Borrego Springs was all the way up by Warner Springs, at Hot Springs Mountain on the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation. Pets on leash can be walked on the paved roads in the state park, and if you’re looking for a place to spend the night, they do have a campground and provide free camping options.
Whether you choose to spend the night at a pet friendly campground or hotel, or make the drive back home at the end of the day, be sure not to leave before the stars come out! As California’s first Dark Sky Community, and with views stretching for miles in all directions, this is some of the best stargazing that you’ll ever see!
Arriving in Borrego Springs from the east and leaving to the west gives you the opportunity to climb the mountain for one last look across the valley before you head back to civilization.
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