Campground Review: The Springs at Borrego RV Resort – Borrego Springs, California

Posted February 20, 2020 – Narrated by Carmen
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See our 5-Bambi rating legend at the end of this review.

Jim’s no Snowbird. He digs extreme cold. Dives head first into icy ponds. Loves a cold shower.

In fact, I’ve seen him stand outside in 40 degrees wearing a Tommy Bahama shirt, shorts and sandals enjoying an ice cold beer. Someday, when 23 and Me updates his DNA report to reveal that he is 4.8% Yeti, I shall express no astonishment.

Me, I’m a desert rat.

Jim is doing this whole SoCal desert tour thing for me because Anza-Borrego is my favorite place in the world. I love this remote, sunshiny and sparsely populated region and could happily live here year-round.

Jim says, that’s okay, he will visit me once a year in wintertime.

One more week in this serene and beautifully maintained desert hide-away and the party-boy might have snapped and run off to Kalamazoo.

The scenic two-hour drive to Borrego from San Diego is mountainous, a bit treacherous and best done in full daylight.

Nestled in a valley within the 600,000-acre Anza-Borrego Desert State Park we found the The Springs at Borrego RV Resort and Golf Course.

The Resort Details

This fairly new resort opened in 2004. Reservations are accepted year-round. Temperatures are nearly perfect in Fall, Winter and Spring with high off-season temperatures beginning in June and continuing through September.

We arrived without a reservation in early January, shoulder season, and stayed through the first week of February. Most days peaked in the mid-70’s with bright blue skies and two days of light, cold rain. The annual rainfall is below six inches.

There are 160 sites – some border the golf course and ponds, some on the wide interior streets – and all are designed to accommodate large rigs.

All sites have full hookups with 90 pull-through sites (35′ wide) and 70 premium back-in sites (averaging 40′ by 80′), all with 20, 30 and 50 amp service.

Special features are a concrete pad, a beautifully landscaped yard with attractive indigenous plantings – some with citrus trees – and a picnic table.

Some of the sites have hook-ups on both sides for water, electricity and sewer – ideal for motorhomes.

The spaces are open and most have some level of green screen between sites.

Most sites are in direct sun with few trees to cast shade over your rig.

All roads are paved and wide enough for a quick, no-hassles back-in experience.

There are a few grassy areas for children and dogs to exercise. Dense decomposed granite topper keeps the dust down on windy days.

The desert magic begins at sunset when the sky smears bubblegum colors around and then the stars come out to chew it all up.

In the cool evening air, campers gather around propane fires and stargaze well into the night.

Our Verizon cell service was blazing fast, especially with our weBoost cell signal booster. So after star-gazing in the hot tub every night, we binged on our latest obsession The Great British Baking Show or – as I call it – “They Shoot Bakers Don’t They?”

With our hotspot giving us unlimited data, we did not use the resorts WiFi. We tested it and sometimes it was fast, other times very slow depending on how many folks were live-streaming at night.

Unfortunately, they do not allow detached shade structures in the RV sites, so we were not able to use our beloved Clam Quick-Set. Flying insects are not a big problem in SoCal, but we do have these pesky gnats that descend from the trees during the sunset hour – so it would be an improvement to allow screened dining shelters.

The Amenities

The saltwater pool and 4 spas (103°) are open 24/7 with healing, natural mineral well water. The main pool temperature was a bit too hot for a serious daytime workout, but in the cool night air the temperature was glorious. Water aerobics classes are held at the pool on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings.

The restroom facilities with hot showers are somewhat dated but clean. The maintenance crew attends to them daily around noontime.

This is the most pet-friendly resort we’ve ever visited. While there is no extra charge for pets, there is plenty of special infrastructure featuring three large enclosed dog parks with fenced separations for large and small dogs. There is a dog wash station, but it only offers cold water, so it was basically useless for our little devil.

Daily curbside trash and recycling pickup is a very nice perk.

The fully-equipped laundry facility is clean, provides very hot water, and most machines are in good working order.

The pond at the end of the golf course allows catch & release bass, catfish, and tilapia.

A designated dry-camp is available. There are no hook-ups, but for $30 access to the grounds, pool and showers is a bargain. This desert is a free-camping paradise, but it’s nice to have luxury facilities once a week or so.

A free dump station is available in the dry camping area. The sign says its potable water but we – as a precaution – never refill our fresh water tank from a hose that is near a dump station.

The Wellness Center offers holistic massage therapy and acupressure, by appointment.

Every Tuesday the campground hosts a free outdoor event on the terrace beside the pond. Chili, hotdogs and s’mores are served. This is a popular mixer to meet neighbors and get acquainted with the wonderful camp hosts.

The recreation room is open 24/7 for gatherings, yoga classes, card and board games, music (there is a piano) and a quiet library. Complimentary computers and printers are available.

Tennis, pickle ball courts, horseshoes, table tennis and lawn bowling are located throughout the resort. The office loans out equipment so you can play all of the games at no additional charge.

The exercise room is open 24/7

The large amphitheater hosts live concerts, and also serves as a basketball court.

The registration office has a small store that offers RV equipment, souvenir clothing and a very nice selection of wines.

Wood campfires are not allowed at campsites but you can rent a propane fire pit for $5 a day. Propane tanks can be rented for a one time, $15 fee.

Propane refills are available for $3.29 a gallon. In the morning, you simply put your empty propane tank out on the curb and a camp host will promptly pick it up and return it filled.

Rates vary depending on the time of year and length of stay. We paid $61 a night for a 30-day stay. Expensive, yes, but a great value considering the quality of the facilities in such a remote area. In 2020, the rates vary between $42 and $103.

Check-in time is 3:00 pm, check-out time is 12 noon.

Affordable RV storage is available for a weekly rate of $28, monthly for $75, and $420 per year – a real bargain for Southern California.

Park Models

Like most fine RV resorts, The Springs offers three fully-furnished, tiny-house park models. A two-night minimum stay is required.

They are fully equipped with kitchen, dining area, 2 bedrooms with queen-sized beds and 1-½ baths. A sleeping loft can accommodate four more people. Each unit features a spacious patio, picnic table and outdoor kitchen with a built-in gas grill. The nightly rates are between $125 to $299, depending on the season.


San Diego is golf country so, of course, a 9-hole championship course surrounds the campground.


The hiking trails are basically endless – right from camp. Key hikes are Borrego Palm Canyon trail (currently closed due to a fire), Maidenhair Falls via Hellhole Canyon trail, The Slot trail, Calcite Mine trail, Panoramic Overlook trail and Culp Valley Loop trail.

Not to be missed, is the 8 mile, off-road round trip to Font’s Point, nicknamed “California’s Grand Canyon.”

It’s an easy cycling trip to Borrego Springs. The streets are wide and the main drag has a bike lane. The center of town is a little more than a mile from the resort.


Everyday we saw coyotes from our site, in our site, and while walking around the golf course.

So we kept Pico on a short leash and close at all times. During his “Sun-shiny-shine-time” we placed him near the door tucked safely inside his “condo.”

Day Trips

Occasionally, we took day trips to have breakfast with Jim and Sam in Julian (30 miles) …

…or to Ramona (50 miles) to meet our son for lunch.

Or to Santa Ysabel (35 miles) to buy Dudley’s Bread – a San Diego backcountry tradition.

And, sometimes, our San Diego friends came to visit us, because Borrego is San Diego’s secret Palm Springs.

We loved our campsite … the cooing doves, fragrant flowers, desert honeybees and hummingbirds …

as well as the beautiful grounds ….

We love a good resort that offers a wealth of amenities but most of them are so large it’s difficult to meet people. The Springs at Borrego is a boutique RV resort, a fraction of the size yet with all the luxuries of a mega-resort. It was easy to find our besties and invite them over for Happy Hour.

The Sculptures

With so much natural beauty to fill the senses, it’s a wonder that art is everywhere in Borrego Springs. We took our time viewing the 130 metal life-sized sculptures scattered throughout hundreds of acres of wilderness in Galleta Meadows, a private preserve in the valley, only minutes from our campsite.

The artist, Ricardo Breceda, brings life to his sculptures by capturing a sense of movement and emotion. It truly feels like an art-safari with views of creatures who roamed this valley before humankind.

But, alas, long time, no sea … so the nearest place in the desert to kayak is the Salton Sea, a 36 mile drive.

The Food

There are very few restaurants in the Borrego Springs area, but we so enjoyed The Red Ocotillo for breakfast …

… and the wood-fired pizza with delicious cactus soup at Keslings Kitchen.

Rams Hill Golf Club‘s outdoor viewing patio has a wonderful bar menu and a good selection of Happy Hour wines. Once a week we treated ourselves to a Ram’s Hill sunset.

Borrego Springs has close to 3,000 permanent residents and approximately 10,000 winter residents.

There is basically one grocery store which receives new supplies every Friday. There’s also a small farmer’s market at Christmas Circle on Friday morning where you can buy very fresh produce and locally harvested citrus and dates.

Hiking, glamping, metal art exhibit, free back-country camping, spectacular scenery and desert oases draw the more adventurous tourist to Borrego. This is the anti-Palm Springs desert – no crowds except the stars.

The Dark Skies

Borrego is California’s only protected “Dark Sky” community.

It’s always a rush to drive out into the desert for moonrise.

The Anza-Borrego Desert is my soul place. On our last night in Borrego Springs we drove into the desert. The sky was clear and the stars closed in on us like marauding warriors. Then, the mournful coyote requiem which began in the far off distance shifted rapidly into bloodlust … closer and closer they came until the sound of the wild hungry pursuit enveloped us.

A mortal shock of wonder pulsed through my temples like a drum as I stood there rooted and rumpled as a Teddy Bear Cactus yet feeling as vast and glorious as a nebula ready to whip up a fresh batch of interstellar delights.

Hey, it’s the desert not a dessert. A prooving ground. A place to gather your mettle, fire it up, and discover your best self.

On your marks. Get set. Bake!

Nearby things to see and do

If you want to see our exact route, click here.

*photos in this post (unless otherwise noted) were taken and copyrighted by Living In Beauty.

Our “BAMBI” rating system explained:

bambi-1 – One Bambi: Should’a boondocked.

bambi-2Two Bambi’s: Better than a Cracker Barrel or Walmart.

bambi-3Three Bambi’s: Adequate for a short stay.

bambi-4Four Bambi’s: Great place! Met our expectations for an extended stay. Needs minor improvements or is not ideally situated for all our preferred recreation (hiking, cycling, swimming, kayaking) without driving.

Five Bambi’s: Destination Camping at its best! Critical as we are, there’s nothing we’d improve, and you can bet your sweet Bambi we’re going back!

We were not paid, reimbursed nor influenced in any way by anyone for this campground review.

Click here to see our other campground reviews.

39 thoughts on “Campground Review: The Springs at Borrego RV Resort – Borrego Springs, California

  1. I haven’t been there in almost 11 years but I love that place. Spring bloom should be starting soon.

    1. Yes Jorge, the cactus were already budding and it was clear that the bloom will be impressive this year.

      Thank you for being with us.

      Safe and Happy Travels,


    1. Hey Anne – As often as I’ve been to Anza-Borrego I have never really had the opportunity to see it in Spring. I need to make that happen.

      Thank you for being with us.

      Safe and Happy Travels,


  2. Love Borrego Springs!! One of my favorite places for dinner is Casa Del Zorro and appetizers at Rams Hill.

    1. Hey Monica! We love Casa Del Zorro for dinner and I should have mentioned it. We didn’t go there this trip. Maybe next time.

      Safe and Happy Travels!


    1. Hey Jeff! This resort is over our budget as well, but we’re off-setting the cost with boon docking for a month … like right now 🙂

      But if you want to stay in Borrego Springs check out Palm Canyon Hotel and RV Resort. It’s only a mile from The Springs RV Resort and costs less than half. We might give it a try next time. The spaces are tighter, gravel pads but they have a lovely pool, a bar and a cute little western town motif. Also it’s closer to town and right across the road from the State Park campground where the very popular Palm Canyon hike trail begins. My friend Morgan loves that campground.

      Our favorite campground in all of Anza-Borrego is Aqua Caliente County Park.

      It’s about an hour from Borrego Springs – but we only stay there for a week or less because there is no connectivity. You have to drive 5 miles for a signal. Still, I would say it’s my first choice for a campground in Anza-Borrego even though you have to drive an hour for groceries or supplies of any kind. Also there’s a 14-day maximum stay. Many people daisy-chain their reservations and boondock right outside the grounds between reservations.

      Are you still in Truth or Consequences? We love that place.

      Safe and Happy Travels,


      1. Wow, thanks for the report! We hesitate to go back to our home state because of the cost but your pics of that resort look great. Where we’re staying right now (The Dam Site in TorC) looks like a raggedy campground by comparison but we pay $300/month + electricity and look out over water…and super quiet. And thanks again!

  3. All through my high school years that was our weekend retreat. We camped at a trailer park just at the foot of the hill coming down from Montezuma’s highway. My daughter and her family are going to go there this weekend to visit for the first time. I am excited to see photos.

    1. Hey David!

      Borrego Springs is a relaxing hide-away. I think you’d love it for its beauty and natural history. On every visit we learn something new.


      Safe and Happy Travels,


    1. Thank you Gay,

      It was a pleasure to bake with you in Borrego! We’ve never seen so many Airstreams in one park before. Are you going to the WBCCI meet up in Loveland, Colorado in June?
      It would be great to hang out again.

      Safe and Happy Travels,

      Carmen & Jim


  4. Thank you Carmen/Jim, you brought the Anza Borrego Desert to life for me. I’m embarrassed to say that having lived in San Diego for a decade I never ventured there. It’s definitely on our bucket list now 🙏🏽

    1. Hey Errol. No need to apologize to us. Blame the two-week annual vacation or complacency or a lack of curiosity … but we’ve lived in San Diego for nearly all our lives and are now in Joshua Tree for the first time. It took me getting braces and the need for frequent returns to San Diego over a six-month period to get acquainted with Southern California. Like people everywhere we neglected to discover our own “neighborhood” but our eyes are open at last and we are just absolutely loving what we are discovering these last few weeks.

      Come visit us!

      xoxo and Safe and Happy Travels!

      Jim and Carmen


  5. That RV park looks amazing! I think I am adding it to my list of places to find. The area looks amazing as well. Thanks for the wonderful write up and beautiful pictures. The moon picture is awesome!

    1. Thank you, Barbara for your encouragement. It’s a pleasure to have you with us.

      Safe and Happy Travels!


  6. What a great review! You tell a fellow RV’er everything they want to know about a place and more! Love all the pictures.

    1. Steve, thank you for your kind words. Glad you thought this campground review was thorough. We try to offer as much information as we would like to know about a campground before we decide to try it out. Safe travels!

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this very detailed review. We have enjoyed staying a couple of weeks in Indian Waters RV Resort in Indio the past two years, but for next year I’m going to also add a week at this park in Borrego Springs. We just love that whole area and I can’t wait to go back!

    1. Dana, we agree with you that this area is wonderful. Maybe not during the summer, but fall, winter and spring…. YES! Hope you enjoy your stay at The springs at Borrego as much as we did. Safe Travels!

  8. Awesome! We lived in Carlsbad for a while and hiked Hell Hole Canyon and the flower fields in Borrego in March, 1998 when our kids were very young. Incredible!
    We just purchased a 23 ft Safari LS 75th Anniversary Edition. Love it! That place is on our list.

    1. Karen and Mike, Congratulations on your purchase of a 23 ft Safari LS 75th Anniversary Edition Airstream. It must be a 2006, I believe. Glad you found value in our review of The Springs at Borrego. We sure enjoyed our stay there before COVID-19 hit. Hell Hole Canyon was beautiful. In the past we have had the opportunity to visit Anza Borrego during the spring flower show and just enjoyed driving around to see all the beauty. Safe travels and we hope our paths cross someday on the road.

  9. Wow, the photos look amazingly surreal! It’s something like out of a movie! These springs are truly magnificent and the scenery is breath-taking as always! I would surely love to travel there with my wife and kids!

    1. The sculptures are surreal as you walk among them. Its hard to believe they are there, in the middle of nowhere. The Borrego Desert is a magical place

    1. James, glad you enjoyed the photos. The Borrego area is such a beautiful place and it was hard to narrow down which photographs to include in the review. The Salton Sea is dramatically lower in that last decades. It is hard to imagine what it looked like in its prime back when there was so much more water.

  10. Thank you for the absolutely incredible review of Borrego RV resort. We had only just heard of this place a couple days ago from a friendly camper we met on our current RV trip. Out of nowhere, I find your wonderful and detailed review and we both agree that Borrego will be our next trip. Definitely looking forward to planning and then exploring this new destination for us. In fact, I think we’ll contact our new friend that mentioned it to us first and see if she’d like to meet us there for a few days or so since it’s only a couple hours from her hometown. Thanks again for the Great Share!!
    Happy traveling to you and looking forward to reading more of your reviews!!!

    1. Janet, glad you enjoyed this blog post. This place is still one of our favorite places to visit. Hope your stay there is as enjoyable as ours. Stay safe out there!

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