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Borrego Palm Canyon (photo: Ernie Cowan)

Anza-Borrego Foundation Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Free Weekends at Borrego Palm Canyon

Borrego Springs CA— How do you protect and preserve Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the largest state park in California – with its 600,000 acres of flora, fauna, hiking trails, free camping, archeological sites and much more? That’s the job of the Anza-Borrego Foundation, celebrating its 50th anniversary this desert season.

To kick off its golden anniversary, Anza-Borrego Foundation will offer “BPC for Free” – six weekends of free access for new visitors to the Park’s most popular hiking trail. Borrego Palm Canyon (BPC) is a family-friendly, three-mile hike known for its oversized palm tree grove and bighorn sheep sightings, culminating in a palm oasis and waterfall. BPC for Free is available one weekend per month through the season:

  • January 21-22
  • February 11-12
  • March 25-26

Passes are limited to 100 vehicles per weekend and must be reserved in advance at www.theabf.org/BPCforFree.

“For five decades, Anza-Borrego Foundation has supported the Park, its natural landscapes, wildlife habitats and cultural heritage for present and future generations to enjoy,” said Executive Director Paige Rogowski. “We hope BPC for Free will encourage new visitors to check out Borrego Palm Canyon and explore the rest of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, which is free every day.”

A scenic two-hour drive from San Diego, Riverside and Palm Springs, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is an 83-year-old desert escape beloved by one million visitors each year. Anza-Borrego Foundation provides financial support for park programs, acquires land for conservation in and around the Park, educates the public about the Park’s resources and supports research relevant to the region.

The Foundation’s accomplishments include adding 54,000 acres to the Park, providing education programming for more than 13,000 children and adults, helping create the Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center with University of California, Irvine, and funding The Stout Paleontology Laboratory and the Begole Archaeological Research Center.

Additional anniversary programming and events will be announced throughout the desert season.

Anza-Borrego Foundation sponsors include Bike Borrego, Borrego Outfitters, and La Casa del Zorro Resort & Spa. To learn more, plan your visit, become a member or volunteer, visit www.theabf.org.

Calcite Mine (photo: Jen Wilkinson)

5 Hikes for 50 Years

In celebration of Anza-Borrego Foundation’s 50th Anniversary, Anza-Borrego Foundation and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park are inviting visitors to complete two five-hike challenges on some of the most famous (and infamous) peaks and trails in the region.

“5 Hikes for 50 Years” is a campaign to introduce visitors to the many wonders of California’s largest state park.

The family-friendly trails will be completed independently by hikers and range from the popular and well-traveled Borrego Palm Canyon Nature Trail to less-visited hikes in more remote areas of the Park, such as Mountain Palm Springs.

The 5 Hikes for 50 Years are: Borrego Palm Canyon Nature Trail, The Slot (off Buttes Pass Road), Pictograph Trail, Calcite Mine and Mountain Palm Springs Loop. Although most of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is free to enjoy, there is a $10 per vehicle day-use fee associated with Borrego Palm Canyon Nature Trail. Guests new to the Park are encouraged to participate in the Foundation’s “BPC for Free” weekends, to experience the trail minus the fee.

When visitors finish all five hikes, they will receive a signed certificate from the Park and a commemorative 50th Anniversary sticker at the State Park Store (587 Palm Canyon Dr, #110), or if a participant is no longer in Borrego Springs, the Foundation will mail them the certificate directly.

Using the 5 Hikes for 50 Years participant packet, hikers will need to complete all five hikes – in any order – by June 1, 2017, then take a “selfie” at an identifiable location unique to each hike. Once all five hikes have been completed, hikers must send an email containing their selfies or group photos to info@theABF.org.

Hikers are encouraged to share their Anza-Borrego hiking adventures on social media using Anza-Borrego Foundation’s usernames:

  • Facebook: facebook.com/AnzaBorregoFoundation
  • Instagram: @anzaborrego
  • Tag each photo with #anzaborrego, #5hikes50years

Detailed information on how to participate and complete the hiking challenge can be found at: http://theabf.org/5HIKES.

About Anza-Borrego Foundation

Celebrating its 50th anniversary this desert season, Anza-Borrego Foundation (ABF) is the official nonprofit partner of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. ABF provides financial support for Park programs, acquires land for conservation in and around the Park, educates the public about the Park’s resources and supports research relevant to the region.

In addition to raising private funds to support park programs and projects, ABF offers an extensive selection of guidebooks, clothing and other products in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park’s Visitor Center and State Park Store.

To learn more, plan your visit, become a member or volunteer, visit www.theabf.org.