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The word Anza in Anza Borrego came from the Spanish explorer Juan Bautisa de Anza, who explored the area in 1774. The Spanish word borrego means lamb, but it is also used to describe the desert bighorn sheep that can be found in this area.
For about 6,000 years, the Cahuilla, Cupeno, and Kumeyaay Native American lived in Anza Borrego. Very little is known about them, but archaeologists have discovered that they did not use pottery or bows and arrows. Instead they used underground, rock-lined storage cysts to store food and they hunted with spears. These early people were also Nomadic and followed the food availability brought on by the seasons. Many archaeological sites with pictographs (rock paintings), petroglyphs (rock etchings), and mortars (grinding stones) have been found throughout Anza Borrego. These sites are protected, and their locations are not shared with the public as a measure to preserve them.
Anza Borrego is located near the town of Borrego Springs. There are many fun recreational opportunities in this area, such as hiking, slot canyon exploration, and four-wheeling, along with the chance to see giant sculptures and desert plants (including spectacular springtime wildflower blooms).
Because Anza Borrego is part of the Colorado Desert, many desert plants can be seen here year-round. Near The Slot you can find ten to 15-foot tall ocotillo and fragrant creosote bushes. There is also an inspiring cactus loop trail full of different types of cacti, succulents and other desert plant life. If you go in the spring, you can even see them flowering!