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How To Get To Fishcreek Campsite Anza Borrego


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Noelle Tatum



Welcome to Fishcreek Campsite, your gateway to adventure in the breathtaking Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Nestled amidst the rugged beauty of Southern California, this campsite offers an unforgettable experience for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.


With its vast open spaces, towering mountains, and fascinating desert flora and fauna, Anza-Borrego is a haven for hikers, cyclists, stargazers, and explorers seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. And at Fishcreek Campsite, you can immerse yourself in the incredible natural beauty while enjoying the comforts of a well-equipped campground.


Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a longer vacation, Fishcreek Campsite provides the perfect basecamp for your adventures in the Anza-Borrego Desert. From thrilling hiking trails to mesmerizing starry nights, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this enchanting desert oasis.


In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to know about Fishcreek Campsite, including how to get there, camping regulations, amenities, nearby attractions, and helpful tips to make the most out of your stay. So, grab your gear, pack your sense of adventure, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey in the heart of the Anza-Borrego Desert!


Overview of Fishcreek Campsite

Fishcreek Campsite is located in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, one of Southern California’s most stunning natural wonders. Situated at an elevation of 1,800 feet, this campsite offers a serene and picturesque setting for outdoor enthusiasts.


The campsite features ample space for tents, RVs, and group camping, making it suitable for all types of camping experiences. There are designated fire rings and picnic tables at each site, allowing you to enjoy cozy campfires and delicious meals under the open sky.


Surrounded by stunning desert landscapes and majestic mountains, Fishcreek Campsite offers breathtaking panoramic views in every direction. Whether you’re an early riser observing the sunrise or a night owl gazing at the star-filled sky, the beauty of the natural surroundings at Fishcreek Campsite will leave you in awe.


One of the highlights of Fishcreek Campsite is its proximity to the nearby Fish Creek, a seasonal stream that creates a serene and tranquil atmosphere. Exploring the creek’s rocky beds and discovering hidden pools is a favorite activity for campers, especially during the spring months when the water flow is more abundant.


It’s also worth noting that Fishcreek Campsite is a pet-friendly campground, so you can bring along your furry friends to share in the adventure. Just make sure to keep them on a leash and clean up after them to maintain the peaceful and clean environment of the campsite.


Whether you prefer a quiet and secluded camping experience or enjoy the company of fellow campers, Fishcreek Campsite offers a variety of sites to meet your preferences. From spacious sites nestled among desert vegetation to sites with unobstructed mountain views, there’s a spot for everyone at Fishcreek Campsite.


Overall, Fishcreek Campsite is a hidden gem within the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Its natural beauty, serene ambiance, and convenient amenities make it a popular choice for campers looking to immerse themselves in the wonders of the desert.


Camping Regulations and Permits

Before planning your camping trip to Fishcreek Campsite, it’s important to be aware of the camping regulations and permits required to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.


Anza-Borrego Desert State Park operates under specific rules and regulations to protect the fragile desert ecosystem and maintain the integrity of the campsite. Here are some key guidelines to keep in mind:

  1. Camping Permits: A valid camping permit is required to camp at Fishcreek Campsite. You can obtain permits online in advance or at the park’s visitor center upon arrival. It is recommended to make reservations in advance, especially during peak seasons, to secure your spot.
  2. Maximum Stay: The maximum stay at Fishcreek Campsite is 14 consecutive nights. If you wish to extend your stay, you must relocate to another campsite within the park.
  3. No Hookups: Please note that Fishcreek Campsite does not provide any electrical or water hookups for RVs or trailers. However, there is a nearby dump station available for RV waste disposal.
  4. Limited Amenities: While Fishcreek Campsite offers basic amenities such as restrooms and picnic tables, there are no showers or potable water sources at the campsite. Plan accordingly and bring plenty of drinking water for your stay.
  5. Leave No Trace: As with any outdoor adventure, it is essential to practice Leave No Trace principles. Pack out all trash, dispose of waste properly, and leave the campsite as you found it to preserve the natural beauty for future campers.
  6. Fire Restrictions: Always check for fire restrictions prior to your visit, as Anza-Borrego Desert State Park occasionally implements fire bans during dry periods. If fires are permitted, use designated fire rings and exercise caution when building and extinguishing fires.

It’s important to familiarize yourself with all the camping regulations and guidelines provided by Anza-Borrego Desert State Park to ensure a safe and responsible camping experience. By respecting the rules and regulations, you contribute to the preservation of the park’s natural environment and help create a positive experience for yourself and other campers.


Directions to Fishcreek Campsite

Getting to Fishcreek Campsite in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park requires a scenic drive through the desert landscape. Here are the step-by-step directions to help you reach this hidden gem:

  1. From the nearest major city, San Diego, take Interstate 8 East towards El Centro.
  2. Continue on I-8 East for approximately 79 miles until you reach the exit for CA-79 South/Japatul Valley Road.
  3. Take the exit and merge onto CA-79 South, following the signs for Descanso/Japatul Valley Road.
  4. Continue on CA-79 South for approximately 23 miles until you reach the intersection with CA-78 East.
  5. Turn left onto CA-78 East and continue for another 36 miles.
  6. At the intersection with CA-86, merge onto CA-86 South and continue for approximately 31 miles.
  7. Turn right onto Henderson Canyon Road and follow it for around 6 miles.
  8. You will then see signs for the Fishcreek Campsite entrance on your left-hand side.
  9. Turn left into the entrance and follow the road until you reach the campground area.

Please note that these directions are meant as a general guide and may vary depending on your starting location. It’s always a good idea to have a reliable GPS or map application to assist you during your journey.


Once you arrive at Fishcreek Campsite, you will be rewarded with stunning desert vistas and a peaceful camping atmosphere. The journey to the campsite is part of the adventure, offering you a glimpse of the unique landscapes that await you in the Anza-Borrego Desert.


Alternative Routes to Fishcreek Campsite

If you’re looking to explore different routes to Fishcreek Campsite or want to add some scenic detours to your journey, here are a few alternative routes that you can consider:

  1. Scenic Route via Sunrise Highway: Instead of taking Interstate 8, you can opt for a more scenic drive by taking the Sunrise Highway (CA-79 North) from San Diego. This winding mountain road offers breathtaking views of the Cleveland National Forest and takes you through picturesque meadows and pine forests. Connect with CA-78 East and follow the rest of the directions as mentioned earlier.
  2. Off-road Adventure via Split Mountain Road: For those seeking a thrilling off-road adventure, consider taking the Split Mountain Road to reach Fishcreek Campsite. This route is accessible by high-clearance vehicles and takes you through the remarkable Split Mountain area, known for its unique geological formations. Take Highway S2 and turn onto Split Mountain Road, following the signs for Fishcreek Campground.
  3. Coastal Route via Highway 78: If you prefer a scenic coastal drive, you can take Highway 78 West from the San Diego area. This route takes you through the charming coastal towns of Carlsbad, Oceanside, and Encinitas before connecting with the inland route described earlier. Enjoy the ocean views and stop at the beautiful beaches along the way to make your journey to Fishcreek Campsite even more memorable.
  4. Backcountry Route via Coyote Canyon: For experienced off-road enthusiasts, the Coyote Canyon route offers a rugged and adventurous approach to Fishcreek Campsite. Accessible only by 4×4 vehicles, this unpaved road winds through a scenic desert canyon, offering opportunities for wildlife sightings and unique geological formations. Enter the park from the north via Di Giorgio Road or from the south via Split Mountain Road.

These alternative routes provide different perspectives and allow you to experience the diverse landscapes of the region. However, keep in mind that some routes may require special vehicles or have seasonal closures, so be sure to check for current road conditions and any necessary permits before embarking on your chosen route.


Amenities and Facilities at Fishcreek Campsite

Fishcreek Campsite offers a range of amenities and facilities to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable camping experience in the Anza-Borrego Desert. Here’s what you can expect when you stay at Fishcreek Campsite:

  1. Campsite Facilities: Each campsite at Fishcreek Campsite is equipped with a picnic table and a fire ring, allowing you to enjoy outdoor meals and cozy campfires. There are also restroom facilities conveniently located within the campground for your convenience.
  2. Pet-Friendly Environment: Fishcreek Campsite welcomes pets, so you can bring your furry friends along on your camping adventure. Just make sure to keep them on a leash and clean up after them to maintain a clean and peaceful environment.
  3. Drinking Water: While there is no potable water available at the campsite, you can find a water spigot near the entrance for non-potable water use. It is recommended to bring your own drinking water or have adequate water filtration systems during your stay.
  4. Picnic Areas: In addition to the individual campsite picnic tables, there are also designated picnic areas at Fishcreek Campsite where you can gather with friends and family for a meal or a relaxing afternoon under the desert sun.
  5. Trash and Recycling: Fishcreek Campsite provides trash and recycling receptacles throughout the campground, helping you to dispose of waste properly and maintain the cleanliness of the area. Remember to practice Leave No Trace principles and pack out all your trash.
  6. Accessibility: The campsite has facilities designed to accommodate individuals with disabilities, including accessible restrooms. However, it is recommended to check with the park in advance for specific accessibility details and available amenities.
  7. Nearby Visitor Center: If you have any questions about the park or need assistance during your stay, you can visit the nearby Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center for information, maps, and guidance.

It’s important to note that Fishcreek Campsite does not provide showers or electrical hookups for RVs and trailers. However, with the tranquil beauty of the desert surrounding you and the variety of amenities provided, Fishcreek Campsite ensures that you have everything you need for a comfortable and memorable camping experience in the Anza-Borrego Desert.


Nearby Attractions and Activities

While Fishcreek Campsite offers a picturesque setting in the Anza-Borrego Desert, there are also many nearby attractions and activities to explore during your visit. Here are some of the highlights:

  1. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park: As the largest state park in California, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. There are numerous hiking trails, including the popular Borrego Palm Canyon Trail, which winds through a picturesque oasis filled with native palm trees. Visitors can also enjoy birdwatching, stargazing, and wildlife spotting throughout the park.
  2. Slot Canyons and Mud Caves: Venture beyond Fishcreek Campsite to discover the unique features of the desert landscape, including slot canyons and intricate mud caves. Take a guided tour or explore these natural wonders on your own, but be sure to respect the fragile environment and practice proper safety precautions.
  3. Off-Roading and Four-Wheeling: The desert terrain around Fishcreek Campsite offers thrilling opportunities for off-roading and four-wheeling. Explore the rugged backcountry trails, such as the Carrizo Wash or Coyote Canyon, and enjoy the exhilaration of navigating the sandy washes and rocky hills.
  4. Wildflower Viewing: If you visit Fishcreek Campsite in the spring, you will be treated to a stunning display of wildflowers. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is renowned for its colorful desert blooms, and you can take leisurely walks or go on guided wildflower tours to witness the vibrant array of flora.
  5. Historical Sites: Immerse yourself in the rich history of the area by visiting the nearby historic sites. Explore the remains of the Desert View Tower, an iconic landmark with panoramic views of the desert, or visit the Vallecito Stage Station, a well-preserved stagecoach station that offers insights into the area’s pioneer past.
  6. Stargazing: The clear desert skies make Fishcreek Campsite an ideal spot for stargazing. On a clear night, you can marvel at the vast expanse of stars and constellations above you. Set up a comfortable chair, grab a blanket, and witness the awe-inspiring beauty of the night sky.
  7. Nature Photography: The diverse landscapes and unique wildlife in the Anza-Borrego Desert provide endless opportunities for nature photography. Capture the breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, the delicate desert flowers, or the elusive desert animals in their natural habitat.

Whether you prefer adrenaline-pumping adventures or serene nature experiences, the Anza-Borrego Desert and its surrounding areas offer a wide range of attractions and activities to suit every interest. Each excursion from Fishcreek Campsite will reveal more of the desert’s secrets, leaving you with unforgettable memories of your time in this remarkable destination.


Camping Tips and Recommendations

To make the most of your camping experience at Fishcreek Campsite, here are some valuable tips and recommendations to keep in mind:

  1. Plan Ahead: Before your trip, check the weather conditions and campground availability. Make reservations in advance to secure your spot, especially during peak seasons.
  2. Pack Appropriately: Prepare for the desert environment by bringing lightweight and breathable clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses. Also, pack extra layers for cooler nights, and don’t forget essential camping gear such as a tent, sleeping bag, and camping stove.
  3. Bring Plenty of Water: Due to the arid climate, hydration is crucial. Bring an ample supply of drinking water for each person, as well as water for cooking and cleaning.
  4. Know your Campfire Guidelines: Check for fire restrictions and always abide by the rules. Use designated fire rings and be responsible when extinguishing fires. Never leave a fire unattended and ensure it is completely extinguished before leaving the campsite.
  5. Respect Wildlife: The Anza-Borrego Desert is home to a variety of unique plants and animals. Respect their habitat by observing from a distance, refraining from feeding wildlife, and properly disposing of food waste to avoid attracting unwanted visitors.
  6. Practice Leave No Trace: Leave the campsite as you found it by packing out all trash and leaving nature undisturbed. Follow the principles of Leave No Trace, including disposing of waste properly and minimizing your impact on the environment.
  7. Stay Safe: Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Check for any potential hazards, such as desert flash floods, extreme weather conditions, or wildlife encounters. Follow safety guidelines, stay on designated trails, and inform someone of your camping plans.
  8. Explore Responsibly: When venturing out into the desert, make sure to stay on marked trails, respect closures, and avoid trampling vegetation. Preserve the beauty and integrity of the area for future generations to enjoy.
  9. Connect with Nature: Take the time to appreciate the tranquility of the desert and disconnect from the demands of everyday life. Embrace the opportunity to stargaze, listen to the sounds of nature, and allow yourself to recharge in the peaceful surroundings.
  10. Be a Considerate Camper: Respect other campers’ space and privacy by keeping noise levels to a minimum, especially during quiet hours. Be mindful of your fellow campers and practice common courtesy while enjoying your camping experience.

By following these camping tips and recommendations, you can ensure a safe, enjoyable, and responsible stay at Fishcreek Campsite. Embrace the unique beauty of the Anza-Borrego Desert, and create memories that will last a lifetime.



Fishcreek Campsite in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts seeking an unforgettable camping adventure. Situated amidst breathtaking desert landscapes, this campsite offers a serene and picturesque setting for those looking to connect with nature.


From the rugged mountains to the seasonal creek and the star-filled skies above, Fishcreek Campsite provides the perfect basecamp for exploring the wonders of the Anza-Borrego Desert. With its well-equipped facilities and pet-friendly environment, it caters to a variety of camping preferences.


As you embark on your journey to Fishcreek Campsite, be sure to familiarize yourself with the camping regulations and obtain the necessary permits. Plan ahead, pack appropriately, and pay attention to safety guidelines to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.


While at Fishcreek Campsite, take advantage of nearby attractions and activities such as hiking, off-roading, wildflower viewing, and stargazing. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the desert and embrace the tranquility it offers.


Remember to be mindful of the fragile desert ecosystem and practice Leave No Trace principles. Leave the campsite as you found it, respecting the environment and the wildlife that call this desert home.


Whether you’re seeking adventure or simply looking to disconnect and recharge, Fishcreek Campsite offers an oasis in the heart of the Anza-Borrego Desert. So pack your gear, gather your loved ones, and embark on an unforgettable journey of exploration, relaxation, and discovery in this remarkable desert destination.