Sheep Canyon Campground is located in a secluded, boulder covered valley in Anza Borrego State Park, and is the northernmost primitive campground in the park. Sheep Canyon itself is remote and feeds into the larger Coyote Canyon area, and offers not only an adventure just getting there, but plenty of hiking and nature. The rugged canyon has two main forks, Sheep Canyon and South Fork Sheep Canyon. Both forks of Sheep Canyon offer hiking along trickling streams covered by large sycamores, cottonwood trees, and crevices lines with large palm trees forming oasis’s in the desert. The canyon and the campground get their name from the herds of big horn sheep that live in the canyon and the areas around the canyon.
Anza Borrego Desert State Park is one of the largest state parks in the country and offers a ton of activities including hiking, camping, and off-roading on over 500 miles of trails that cross the park. The park is also known for massive wildflower blooms after spring rains that blanket the dry desert.
Camping at Sheep Canyon Campground is very much a primitive desert camping experience. There are a handful of designated campsites at Sheep Canyon, but you can largely camp anywhere in the area. Unlike many of the other campgrounds in Anza Borrego, Sheep Canyon Campground offers picnic tables and shade ramadas at the designated campsites, as well as access to vault toilets. Campfires are allowed, but they must be contained in a metal container; ground fires are not allowed in Anza Borrego State Park.
Access to Sheep Canyon Campground requires a four-wheel drive vehicle with higher-ground clearance or a several mile hike from a parking area near the entrance to Coyote Canyon.
Sheep Canyon Campground Overview
|Campground Type:||Primitive, Dispersed|
|Number of Campsites:||Not Defined – Virtually Unlimited|
|Cost:||$5 Parking Fee|
|Use Level:||Very Low|
|Fire Rings:||Yes in some of the developed campsites – Ground fires are not allowed in Anza Borrego. Campfires are allowed in metal containers, bring your own.|
|Toilets:||Yes – Vault Toilet|
|Trash/Dumpsters:||None – Pack it out|
|RV/Trailer Length:||Not Defined|
|Cell Phone Service:||None|
|Operating Season:||October 2 – May 31st|
|Geo Coordinates:||33.365366, -116.479211|
|Nearest City/Town:||Borrego Springs, California|
|Location:||San Diego County, California|
|Paved Road Access:||None|
|Proximity to Stores:||13 Miles to Borrego Springs, CA|
||To get to Sheep Canyon Campground, drive north from the north end of the paved DiGiorgio Road in Borrego Springs onto the unpaved, sometimes rough road up along the east side of Coyote Canyon. After 5.6 miles on dirt and after three wet crossings of Coyote Creek, you reach a point below Lower Willows where the road turns sharply left (west) and later climbs a narrow, steep ravine. Parking space is fairly abundant for vehicles that do not have a high ground clearance. The bypass road ahead, which swings left and climbs steeply, is sometimes referred to as “Boulder Alley.” After driving (or hiking) the bypass road, follow the road into the canyon to Sheep Canyon Campground.|
|Web:||Anza Borrego State Park||Twitter:|
|Reservations:||Not Available – First Come – First Served|
When To Go
Fall through Spring – Sheep Canyon Campground and the rest of Anza Borrego State Park is busiest during the non-summer months, due to the summer temperatures in the area. However, these are the best times to visit Sheep Canyon. The campground is not likely to be packed, and even if it was, there would be plenty of room for camping in the area.
The summer is when you should think twice about going to Sheep Canyon Campground, with temperatures usually exceeding 100 degrees daily.
Be Sure to Bring
What To Do
Hiking – There are several trails that lead into the South Fork of Sheep Canyon that lead to streams, waterfalls, and palm tree lined oasis’s.
Off-roading – There are lots of off-roading trails all around Anza Borrego State Park, however many of the popular trails are located further down in the lower valley.
Wildflowers – Anza Borrego State Park is known for spring wildflower blooms. The level of wildflower activity will depend on the amount of rain in the winter and spring.
Image Credits: _JFR_ via Flickr