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  • State Park Store and Visitor Center

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Night Sky Friendly Business

California Overland Desert Excursions

1233 Palm Canyon Drive. Adventure deep within the amazing Anza-Borrego Desert in exciting open-air excursion vehicles. They also offer private Jeep® & group tours. Plan an overnight for your group with grub and all the gear, too! A fully-licensed park concessionaire with specially-approved and licensed vehicles for your comfort and safety.

866-6-EXPLORE | 760-767-1232
by advance appointment

 

Joe Raffetto, Owner / Guide
Joe Raffetto, Owner / Guide

California Overland takes you deep into the cactus and canyons of the incredible Anza-Borrego desert on private tours in open-air jeeps and converted military vehicles. Get ready for rugged, safe desert adventure with trained and specially-licensed driver/guides in a vast terrain rich in beauty, history, and natural wonder. You'll experience the desert through all your senses in a way even most SUVs can't match. Not to be missed!

4-Hour Tours

These tours include water and a box lunch, so sit back and let your driver / guide show you around. It's a great way to get a feel for each area.

Font's Point & The Badlands
A perfect Anza-Borrego Desert overview. You have two routes to choose from-both end at the amazing Font's Point overlook. Roll onto a dry lake bed surrounded by colorful alluvial fans, or begin at San Felipe Wash. Enjoy a relaxing lunch in beautiful Hawk Canyon in the shade of a mesquite tree while viewing the panorama of multi-hued rock formations. In spring this is a surefire place to find flowers like brittle bush, lupine, and desert lavender. Your Jeep next conquers varied terrain, soon reaching an extraterrestrial land devoid of visible life. Yet, here three native palm groves defiantly exist. The third grove is Seventeen Palms, where Native Americans and prospectors alike took respite from the desert heat among cool shadows. The grand finale is a ride through the Borrego Badlands to the breath-taking overlook at Font's Point. Add a moonrise, and heaven can't be far away...


Blair Valley
Walk where Native Americans lived. Travel to a higher elevation of the Park (3,000') to visit an ancient Kumeyaay Indian village set among giant rock monoliths. Close inspection reveals dozens of mortero - bedrock pestles the women used to grind seeds and acorns into nutritious flour. You can almost feel the women's presence, sitting and chatting while the men hunted game and collected mesquite beans. Your Jeep then travels a bit further to a trail head where a comfortable one-mile hike awaits you. A walk through a scenic garden of large boulders, juniper trees, and yucca plants leads to a sacred rock where curious-looking pictographs stand out vividly in their natural pigments. Their meaning remains a mystery to us today. Another mile along the trail brings you closer to the ridge line of this little "valley-in-a-valley", and on to a special location that's best left as a surprise...


Split Mountain
Stark beauty and dramatic geology. Your trip begins in Fish Creek Wash at the bottom of Split Mountain Gorge. Rock soon begins to rise up on both sides of you, revealing fascinating geologic features. Soon you enter within the twin walls of Split Mountain. The ancient torrents of Fish Creek literally carved this mountain in half. Dwarfing your Jeep, the enormous slot canyon with massive rock walls towers almost impossibly high above you. Emerging from the canyon, we come to a broad wash where everyone climbs out. A one-mile hike up a simple trail leads to a rewarding vista of the Elephant Knees, a columnar formation that looks like - well, elephant knees. The 360° view is amazing, but it's the Wind Caves at the end of the hike that will really rock you. They look like a village built by a primitive culture, but were entirely created by nature. 'Really cool! Next we serve a lunch on the promenade of the cave, where the view is better than any four-star restaurant.

8-Hour Tours

These tours include a lunch, water, and snacks, and are a great way to spend a day deep in the inspiring spirit of the desert. Lots 'n Lots of Routes. All of the 4-Hour Tour routes are available to be combined, along with many, many side trips and other combinations. Cook up the trip of your dreams, and see the Park and surrounding areas like few other people ever will.

Contact California Overland directly to learn about the many options for these longer trips.