Agua Caliente is a very peaceful, desert location (except for the helicopter training) if you want to be a remote location. We had a great hike on the Moonlight Canyon Trail. But the park is easily an hour from the Anza Borrego Visitor Center and from Julian. We had absolutely no cell reception (Verizon). In order to do an on-line reservation we could not select a 50 amp site although new power pedestals were going in with 50 amp service. We found the sites quite unlevel (our front tires were off the ground) We also would recommend approaching the park from I-8 if there is a choice. especially with a bigger rig. We camped here in a Motorhome.
But for the heat this is a very nice park. It is a seasonal campground that closes at the end of May and reopens in October. Late spring can be as hot as any summer day at this park, as we found out the hard way. We arrived late Friday night expecting the daytime temp to be around 80 or so degrees the next day. How wrong we were. We went on April 20 and the daytime high the next day was about 114 degrees. We decided this was much more than we bargained for and so we left. Aside from the heat this early, the park is a desert hot spring with three pools. One of the three is exclusively adult use only, I don't know the reason for this but no funny business or anything like that. The campground is well maintained with paved roads right up to the camp site with dirt/sand camping pads. There are both full hook up and primitive sites and everything in between. If you expect to be able to get a cell phone signal don't bank on it, you are isolated and the only connection to the world is a pay phone at the registration office. I went here visiting from memories of my youth when my folks used to take us there, I just don't remember the heat. Anyway, if you are going to visit this campground I think it could be much more enjoyable during the cooler times of the year unless you are just a die-hard and it doesn't matter. There were plenty of those out there too that just enjoyed their time no matter the heat. I will visit this park again but when it is much cooler. Last thing that is a little misleading, this park is actually in the city of Julian not Borrego Springs which is about 20 miles North of Agua Caliente though they are both considered the Anza Borrego Desert. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Agua Caliente is a beautiful park in a beautiful desert! The rangers and camp hosts are wonderful, welcoming and helpful. The sites all seem to be very large. We were in a back-in spot at the end and rear of the park and our backyard was a gorgeous stretch of desert and a mountain peak behind that. You are surrounded by nature and there are many trails and hikes to take in the park and also in Anza-Borrego S.P. We had no TV, no cell reception, no Internet, and couldn't have cared less. The beauty is outside and that's were we stayed. The "Hot Springs" spa is chlorinated so it kind of ruined the "natural" part of having the spa. And the only other bothersome thing is the nearby El Centro training center for helicopter pilots who did land/takeoff drills for several hours two nights in a row, right across the highway. It was loud and very annoying but not the park's fault. Other times it was so quiet you could hear the coyotes, the owls, the quail, and even a pin drop! Peaceful!!! I would imagine if you had kids there, you'd have to be pretty careful keeping an eye on them. The "big" pool was freezing cold and I did not assess the "children's pool" so amusement might be an issue for small kids. But us two grown-ups LOVED the park and can't wait to return! We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
We stayed here in our first trip with our new trailer. It was a great park for the kids with tons of rocks to climb and hiking to do. Our spot was very long and wide so we had plenty of space to stretch out. I noticed that not all of them are that big, so we got lucky. The campground has 3 pools, but only 2 that the kids can go in. The small kiddie pool was the only one warm enough (because of the hot spring) to go into at that time. I know the indoor adult pool was plenty warm. At night the stars are amazing and the frogs are super loud if you walk by them. There are only tents sites near the frogs, so any rv/trailers wouldn't be near the noise. It's pretty cool to hear, though. The bathrooms are fine, fairly clean and kept up. There is a tiny store with most anything you'd need out there located right at the entrance of the campground. It's completely in the middle of nowhere, so don't expect to be in downtown Julian just because that's the address. A nice park for the winter time and very affordable! We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
We loved our week-long stay at Agua Caliente. This park offered us the perfect blend: camping, hiking and kicking back in the hot spring. Also warm sunshine in February wasn't bad either. This is a well-run park. We were here over a weekend that was fully booked and things seemed busy, but still nice. The hot spring facilities are clean and well cared for. There is a great deck outside for sunning and socializing. I think there are many volunteers who work hard to make this park a pleasure. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Fairly nice park for the desert. It was nice to have full hookups, however, water pressure was a bit low. Our campsites were quite spacious. Hot springs were OK. Spent most of our time in the kiddie pool, as the temperature was great. Bottom of that pool was quite rough for my 2 year old son's feet. Hot pool was not very clean and chlorinated. Cold pool was very clean, but quite cold. We camped here in a Motorhome.
If you are choosing a location based on being family friendly, this is not the location for you. My family along with 4 other families with 11 children (total) ranging from 2 - 9 years old camped there over Martin Luther King weekend. Upon arrival at 6:30 p.m. we were told to keep it down, they could "hear children running around and laughing". I told the Ranger that it was my understanding that quiet time started at 10 p.m. She said that it was but that this camp ground was oriented to Seniors. Throughout the 3 day weekend we had several visits from Rangers and seniors living at the park which made it very uncomfortable at times. This group has 3 teachers and an engineer as well as other professionals so it is not a clueless group of adults. I rated this place a 7 because of the access to the Palm Canyon Waterfall hike and the Slot Canyons we had access to as well as the wonderful visitors center that had an amazing hands on kids area. I would probably find another camp ground close by next time and avoid this one. We camped here in a Motorhome.
[ 7 / 10 ]
About 15 sites that can handle a 40' motorhome gracefully. Long desolate drive to get there, but it is desert camping after all. Closed during summer months. Only complaint is that although there is available manpower and equipment (small tractor), many sites are so uneven that your jacks cannot level your RV out. Interesting hot water spas. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Large park in a desert location (closed during summer months). Hot tubs available but often crowded. Nice hiking in nearby hills. Some 'private' spaces and lots of 'no privacy' spaces. We camped here in a Truck Camper.
This is a nice campground for those that like desert camping. It has some semi-challenging
hiking trails. It is not pet friendly and, although it allows children, there are strict rules about the hot springs pools. The playground that they advertise is a disgrace. I would recommend more for couples or adult groups than for families. Be aware that if you camp during poor weather that includes wind, you can experience HUGE wind gusts. We camped here in a Tent Trailer.
[ 2 / 10 ]
This was way too primitive and desolate for our taste. We endured a wind storm that made us abandon our trailer in the middle of the night because it was lifting up off of its jacks. The kids were not allowed in the indoor pool and the outdoor pool was closed during our stay. We camped here in a Tent Trailer.
Beautiful desert setting with a pool and hot springs spa; closed in summer. Park has some full hook-up sites which is a bit unusual for a San Diego county park. Our gravel site #67 was level, very wide and sufficiently deep for our 30 ft class A and tow. Website cautions that some sites are not entirely level and suggests leveling aids. Trees and shrubs provided some shielding from neighboring sites on our row but not all sites have greenery. We enjoyed the hiking trails and the views you could get from above the park. Pay showers. Dump station well situated. We would love to stay in this nice quiet park again particularly in the spring when wildflowers are in bloom. We camped here in a Motorhome.