Borrego Springs Sculpture Tour

Our plan all along has been to stay in the southwest for the winter where the temperatures are warm and the skies are clear (good for solar power!). After our boondocking stints near Yuma and Quartzsite we headed west to California, making our first stop in Borrego Springs, a little town tucked out of the way between some mountain ranges west of the Salton Sea.


Opie is not intimidated!

For us, the big draw to Borrego Springs was to see the 100+ metal sculptures scattered throughout the desert there. They were created by artist Ricardo Breceda, and commissioned by Dennis Avery who owned large swaths of land in Borrego Springs.


T-Rex says you will respect me, or else!

One of the more spectacular sculptures is a giant serpent that appears to be slithering under the road. The serpent has a dragon’s head and a rattlesnake’s tail. Only by flying our drone up above could we get a photo of the entire serpent (image below), yet a close-up of its 20-foot high head reveals so much detail that is invisible from the air (image at top of page).


A view of the serpent from the air.

We spent two days driving around the area and visiting the sculptures. Many are close to the highway, easy to pull off and walk a short distance to. Some, like the impressive T-Rex, are far from the main roads, requiring a slow and bouncy drive down makeshift dirt roads (or a pretty long walk from the road).

Second T-Rex says flying drone looks like yummy snack!

Second T-Rex says flying drone looks like yummy snack!

Many of the sculptures are recreations of creatures which once roamed this area, including sabertooth cats, sloths, mammoths, and wild horses. There’s also an impressive collection of dinosaurs, not only the T-Rex but allosaurus, velociraptors, and more. We even saw a metal sculpture of a jeep driving over some rocks, and a whole group of metal farm workers picking grapes. It was certainly one of the more interesting art exhibits we’ve ever seen, and it’s completely free!

Hanging out with the mammoths...

Hanging out with the mammoths…

While in Borrego Springs, we boondocked for free again on some government land and made good use of our new solar panels. The area off Rockhouse Trail used to be federal BLM land which allowed camping on several square miles of land, but last year the area was transferred to California and merged into their state park system, and now free camping is restricted to one small area near Rockhouse Trail.

Our boondocking site in the middle of the Rockhouse area.

Our boondocking site in the middle of the Rockhouse area.

Still, we found a nice site for our stay, not too near anyone else. Unfortunately the weather was brutally hot for boondocking (no air conditioning), and our last day we had 40-50 MPH wind gusts all afternoon and evening, which always makes for an interesting experience in an RV! It was a very pretty spot, and if we’re ever back in the area we’ll likely boondock here again.

The metallic fur on the sloths must have taken great patience to create.

The metallic fur on the sloths must have taken great patience to create.

We made it to most of the 130-ish sculptures, many of which were clustered together in groups, like a family of giant tortoises or a group of horses being chased by sabertooth cats. Although Borrego Springs is out of the way, it’s worth a visit if you have the time and are passing near Palm Springs and the Salton Sea.

Don't get carried away!

Don’t get carried away!

Michael Fischer

After a high-tech career spanning software development and systems administration to leading hundreds of engineers across cities and continents, I'm now slowing things down a bit. Traveling full-time in an RV with my awesome wife Kathie and our two big dogs Max and Opie, I'm now pursuing smaller personal software projects while seeing North America up close.

1 Comment

  1. Andrew   •  

    Another great post. The boon docking seems very intimidating. Really enjoyed reading about how your’ve modified Rover.

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