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Borrego Springs, from LA, end February

Toronto, Ontario
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Borrego Springs, from LA, end February

Happy New Year, fellow TA forum folk.

I have to attend a conf in LA. In my non-corporate life, I'm a nature & wildlife photographer. Post- conf, am looking at a little down time, end of Feb, first few days in March; Thurs to Sun/Monday. Considering Borrego Springs. Specifically thinking Borrego Valley Inn unless anyone has other suggestions.

Looks to be about a 3 hour drive from LA. Is there a better solution for getting there than driving? Is there an airport where flying in would be more time efficient? Is there something I should NOT do, most especially if I have to drive?

Any and all suggestions are entirely welcomed!

San Francisco
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1. Re: Borrego Springs, from LA, end February

Your other option for lodging is the newly reopened La Casa del Zorro. It's the long time "go to" place to stay in Borrego although it went through a few ownership changes that didn't do well by it. I have not been since the reopening but from what I've read in the "Borrego Sun" things are doing well.

That is not to disparage the Borrego Valley Inn however.

There is only a GA airport in Borrego so there are no scheduled commercial flights into town. It's a 2 hour drive from SD if that helps.

I hope you enjoy this small slice of heaven. It's a wonderful place if you enjoy slowing down, looking at the incredible colors of the desert, enjoy watching a "roadrunner" run across your patio and the marvelous smell of desert air.

Toronto, Ontario
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2. Re: Borrego Springs, from LA, end February

Thanks for the quick response. I saw info on La Casa del Zorro, good to hear local feedback. The BV Inn has some rather restrictive policies about cancellation, which I understand given their size, but given a local issue I face with sick parent here, I need to know I can cancel without paying 100% cancellation, so del Zorro looks better already. And with their 2 room casitas, that could actually work out a little less costly. Either way, it really is the desert heaven I am interested in, and I think Palm Springs is just a little too populated for what I want. I also like the dark sky qualification out here for night photography.

Sounds like, by the time I'd get through with LAX to SD, etc., the 3 hour drive is a more time efficient option.

Any suggestions for moderate day excursions for photography, especially in the park itself? I'm more used to northern climates, but sun in the winter for a Canadian is never a bad thing LOL. I like quiet, but will need to find a little something to do during the midday sun when photography is so harsh might be welcomed by my travel companion.

San Francisco
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3. Re: Borrego Springs, from LA, end February

With any luck there may be some wildflowers out although this is shaping up to be a very dry year.

There is some great hiking in the area. And I always like to drive out to Font's Point (a few miles out a dirt track). Go up to the Visitor's Center and they'll have info on what dirt roads are OK for 2 wheel drive vehicles depending on time of year. (Although one year we went out to Font's Point in 2 wheel drive SUV without a problem only to find later it was rated for 4 WD only.)

An interesting hike is up Ghost Mountain to the ruins of the South family home. In the 1930s a family lived up on the mountain, carrying in all their provisions. Interesting story: desertusa.com/desert-people/marshal-south.ht…

Another one is up Palm Canyon which isn't far from the visitor center.

But there are lots of hiking opportunities of all distances and levels of difficulty.

You could also go horseback riding.

Santa Cruz...
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4. Re: Borrego Springs, from LA, end February

We stayed at Casa del Zorro some years ago in its previous incarnation and loved it. Yes, do not miss the Visitor's Center, one of the best we have experienced, and a walk up Palm Canyon.

Northern California
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5. Re: Borrego Springs, from LA, end February

Last early March we stayed at Borrego Springs Motel, it is very comfortable and reasonable (no television). The town was really quiet, some of the resort type places didn't even seem open.

We did the Palm Canyon hike and a tour with California Overland. I think he would take you on a private tour also. We drove over to the Salton Sea-not far-just to see it. We also enjoyed all the huge sculptures.

Santa Monica, CA
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6. Re: Borrego Springs, from LA, end February

The drive to Borrego Springs is not terrible. I'm pretty sure it's less than 3 hours, too (at least the way I drive). We have done it as a very long day trip, leaving Santa Monica around 7:00 am and returning home around 9:00 pm.

Here's a wildflower hotline: http://theabf.org/plan_your_visit/wildflowers

Let's hope we get some rain this winter!

Toronto, Ontario
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7. Re: Borrego Springs, from LA, end February

PlumeriaD, sounds like you and I have a similar foot on the gas issue LOL. Thanks, Emmajm, I saw the link to California Overland and was thinking they could be exactly what I need to get around. That Ghost town thing sounds cool. And thanks for that link; it happens to mention a guy who does photo outings; getting a local with photo experience is always the best part!!!

I looked up Zorro, and I have to say the reviews are still somewhat patchy. They are evidently trying, but I don't think all the rooms are up to speed yet. Sounds like they've had a few issues plaguing them, but in my experience with partially renovated hotels, usually a phone call direct will help with that kind of thing.

Happy to take any other info...!

Cheers and thanks.

Santa Clara...
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8. Re: Borrego Springs, from LA, end February

I used to monitor this website for the desert wildflowers reports when I lived in LA.

www.desertusa.com/wildflo/ca_abdsp.html

We would do a long day trip to Anza Borrego for the flowers each spring. Exit the park out towards the Salton Sea. Dinner in the Palms Springs area and back home to bed.

I love the smell of the desert primrose at dusk when they open. You can sometimes smell it before you see the flowers. Hope there will be some in bloom when you will be there! There are lots of interesting washes and nooks and crannies to explore.

Edited: 04 January 2014, 21:40
Bedfordshire
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9. Re: Borrego Springs, from LA, end February

sorry for butting in...I'm hoping to be in area of Palm Springs...from about 18-21st Feb. I LOVE photography, and saw the tours by the man who is also a photographer...but being a solo traveller it was too pricey for me. If you are around then, and are happy to divide the cost I would love to do a tour around Borrego Springs, or anywhere else wehre wildlife can be spotted. His night tour looked great...and I need to learn!

Thanks

10. Re: Borrego Springs, from LA, end February

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