Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA

No Shame In Being The Runner-Up

You might perceive this as a slightly awkward and out-of-place question, but we feel obliged to ask it, considering the topic of this article: how often does size matter? Don’t laugh (or frown down) at us, we’re asking a legitimate question. Almost everything we do in everyday life has something to do with dimensions. The cars we drive, the total surface of our homes, the size of our bank accounts, you name it – and it can pretty much be quantified and expressed in some sort of physical unit. Doesn’t really matter whether you use imperial or metric units – everything in life is subject to classification.

It can be said that we lead such lives because we’re obsessed with order. Without getting too deep in the philosophical debate which is the human existence, it should be mentioned that chaos also surrounds us wherever we go. Whether it’s because we forget to fold our laundry when it dries off or perhaps because our tool shed looks like it was nuked by accident isn’t really the point – chaos lurks just as much as order. So, to answer the question from our perspective – yes, size plays an important role in almost everything we do.

The reason why we’ve been focused on size as a notion in the previous two paragraphs is because we have an obvious example that demonstrates its ever-lasting presence. In addition to being an awesome place for travel all year long, the fact that it’s the second-largest state park in the continental United States doesn’t hurt either. You can say that this particular place suits this article perfectly, as its size is more than impressive and thus – offers virtually limitless opportunities to have fun and enjoy your time while visiting this oddly-named location in California. The place we’re on about is called the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and it boasts features that are, at the same time, impressive and unusual, much like its name.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California – One Of Two Places Excluded From All Possible Levels Of Comparison

First thing’s first – it would be sadistic of us to tell you about a place called Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and not tell you the secret behind its name. It is actually a combination of two different notions; one being the Spanish word “borrego”, meaning “bighorn sheep”, and the other being the name of Juan Batista de Anza; a Spanish explorer from the 18th century. When you combine the two, you get an oddly named state park, which is not that bad, actually. While it might be somewhat tricky to pronounce for some, when you come to think of it – you’re definitely left with a characteristic and unique name that offers plenty of opportunities for branding. Just try to say “Anza-Borrego Desert State Park” three times in a row (lol).

Anyway, enough with the petty stuff – time to get down to business. Southern California is the home of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (there we go again). More precisely, you’ll be able to find it within the Colorado Desert. In terms of size, which we’ve so comprehensively covered in the beginning of the article, the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is so large that it covers an entire fifth of the total surface of San Diego County, which is to say almost 600,000 acres (2,400 square kilometers). Now, what that means when compared to other state parks in US soil is that…well, there’s only one that’s larger than the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. You should have some knowledge of it if you’ve read our previous articles; it’s called the Adirondack State Park and it’s in New York. But, there you have it – two Goliaths among state parks are located on opposite corners of the country.

Regardless Of The Size – Don’t Expect To Be The Only Ones There

In excess of 110 miles (180 kilometers) of hiking trails, 12 impressive wilderness areas that have been designated and more than 500 miles (800 kilometers) of dirt roads exist in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. These offer ample recreational opportunities, in addition to several unique versions of the environments of the Colorado Desert. The Visitor Center of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is where you’ll be able to get listening devices for the hearing impaired, which is new (to us, at least) when it comes to services offered to visitors in state parks. You’ll also have access to various displays, interpretive events, maps and park information here. One particularly interesting and awesome thing when it comes to California state parks (Anza-Borrego Desert State Park included) is the fact that all of them feature wi-fi access; we dare you to say your kids won’t absolutely love that!

Of course, the thing that the park is probably most famous for is its namesake wildlife member – the desert bighorn sheep. Although it has a habitat in only certain areas of the park, that fact was reason enough to include it in the park’s name. The sheep are extremely wary (with good reason), mind you, so don’t expect to see them in large numbers. The Peninsular (desert) bighorn sheep are an endangered species, and each year patient observers carefully count them for two reasons. The first is that they are greatly threatened by human overpopulation encroachment, which is why they need to be constantly monitored. The second reason is of scientific nature – their population offers insight into various habits of the species.

Those Who Respected It And Lived Off Of It, In Return

As for the history of the human populations in what is today the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Native Americans were the original inhabitants of the area. Kumeyaay, Cupeno and Cahuilla are just some of the many Indian tribes who settled on these lands thousands of years ago. Many traces of their existence can be found in the area even today; for example, pictogram and petroglyph rock art, created by Indian artists, expresses the cultures of these ancient tribes very vividly.

The Anza-Borrego Desert State Park offers countless activities for recreation, but many other types of interesting features, as well. So, the next time you think that size isn’t important (whatever you might be doing), just think about this incredibly interesting environment. We suspect you’ll change your mind.

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