Anza Borrego State Park Mountain Palm Springs Campground is a free primitive campground in Anza Borrego State Park that is accessible from a dirt road off the highway. Mountain Palm Springs not for the faint of heart; it is truly “roughing it” Teddy Bear Cholla cactus surrounding the camping area makes this campground dangerous. If you want some adventure, see if you can camp here and not get stuck at least once.

Mountain Palm Springs Campground does not have designated campsite, there are just flat camping spots.  Anza Borrego State Park does allow campfires but only in a metal container, this campsite does not have fire rings.

Overall Rating 4

Dates: August 4, 2017

GPS Coordinates: 32.8527927,-116.2218487

Location: From San Diego, East of I-8, Exit Descanso exit, and head north 6 miles. It will be on the left-hand side.

Website: It should be but doing search yields no results.

Other information: Park Brochure and Campground Map

Reservations/Office #: (800) 777-0369

My Site #: No number but right next to the bathroom

Reason Selected: Seclusion and sight in a rifle scope/shooting (but you’re not supposed to shoot here)

Big Rig Friendly: Yes, you can fit anything out here, it’s a wide-open desert

RV Hookups: None

Fire Rings: None – Ground fires are not allowed in Anza Borrego. Campfires are allowed in metal containers, bring your own.

Facilities: One Bathroom – Vaulted, clean, no running water though

Price: Free


I decided to do a review of a secluded campground where I could sight in a scope on my .22 rifle without having any neighbors nearby. After looking around the internet for an hour or so and determining where I wouldn’t get in trouble for discharging a firearm I settled on Mountain Palm Springs Campground. As I suspected there was nothing anywhere near this “official” campground, well, except cacti (plural for cactus right?) And boy was there a lot of cacti, we’ll get to that.

Teddy Bear Cholla Cactus

I arrived at the campground late at night, at about 11 pm and it was pretty easy to stay on the short dirt road leading up to the campground. The campground consisted of a small loop with various camp areas marked out with rocks. The ground was flat, good for tents or keeping an RV level. I

They say that the desert gets cold at night, apparently, Mountain Palm Springs Campground didn’t get that memo because it was hot all through the night.

Now of the fun part. Teddy Bear Cholla, okay, maybe not so fun. This campground is covered in Teddy Bear Cholla. See the two videos below. The first is my video is of the Mountain Palm Springs Campground.

This second video is an example of how the Teddy Bear Cholla is merciless. This guy handles this like a champ! I have to give him credit for how he dealt with the whole ordeal.

But I digress, back to the review, when I woke up to let my dog out of the RV she had 2 clumps of cactus in her in about 2 minutes and started limping to me for help. In the process of getting my multitool to help her, I also became victim to the Teddy Bear Cholla.

Small Teddy Bear Cholla stuck on side of shoe

Conclusion: If you want some heat and seclusion with nothing but a toilet and lots of Teddy Bear Cholla around, then Mountain Palm Campground is the place for you.