Anza-Borrego Place Names

Friday, February 17, 2017 - 7:30pm to Saturday, February 18, 2017 - 4:00pm


Anza-Borrego Place Names – Why is it called that?

The field class has been rescheduled for Sunday, March 19. Click here to register.

February 17-18, 2017

Instructor: Diana Lindsay, historian and author of Anza-Borrego A to Z: People, Places, and Things

Friday, February 17, 7:30 p.m.
Friday night’s presentation is a general overview of the common place names found within Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Most common names are based on historical events or characters, natural or cultural features, or geographical names. We will explore names in each of the categories to see why a place now has that name and how it was named. Some of the interesting names we will look at include: Indianhead, Split Mountain, Fish Creek, Fonts Point, Alcoholic Pass, Coyote Canyon, Clark Dry Lake, Nude Wash, Hellhole Canyon, Kenyon Scenic Overlook, Canyon Sin Nombre, Ghost Mountain, and even the name of the Park – Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. 

Saturday, February 18, 9:30 a.m. (rescheduled for March 19)
Lower Willows Loop Hike, Coyote Canyon – An intimate look at local place names
Explore a popular riparian area, and a desert valley and canyon that is steeped in history that includes the original Native American inhabitants, Spaniards, cattlemen, homesteaders, recreationists, and conservationists. Place names reflect its long history and natural and cultural features: Santa Catarina Spring, Collins Valley, Sheep Canyon, Cougar Canyon, Indian Canyon, Salvador Canyon, Ocotillo Flat, and Desert Gardens.

Hike Level: 5 miles; moderately difficult

Bring: Hikers should have a day pack with a lunch and at least two quarts of water, hiking shoes, hat, sunscreen, and optional trekking poles.

Meet: Meet at the ABF office to car pool to 3rd Crossing in Coyote Canyon. 4-wheel drive vehicles recommended. We will drive 5.3 miles from end of pavement.

Class Schedule and Pricing

Friday Lecture
7:30-9:00 p.m.
$5 at the door; open to the public

Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center
401 Tilting T Drive
Borrego Springs
Saturday Field Class
9:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.
$60 - Public Rate (includes lecture)
$50 - ABF Member Rate (includes lecture)

ABF Office
587 Palm Canyon Drive #110
Borrego Springs


About the Instructor:
Diana Lindsay received her master’s degree in history and geography from San Diego State University. Her thesis was subsequently published as Our Historic Desert by Copley Books in 1973. A few years later, she co-authored The Anza-Borrego Desert Region, a guidebook to the area published by Wilderness Press in 1978. It is now in its 5th edition. Among her many other published books that she has written or edited are Anza-Borrego A to Z: People, Places, and Things (2001); Marshal South and the Ghost Mountain Chronicles (2005); Ricardo Breceda: Accidental Artist (2012); and Coast to Cactus: The Canyoneer Trail Guide to San Diego Outdoors (2016). Her Ricardo Breceda book won eight major awards for biography, photography, travel, and design, in addition to being named “Best Book of the Year” for the Outdoor Writers Association of California. Her latest book Coast to Cactus is a collaboration with the San Diego Natural History Museum.

Diana is the founder and president of Sunbelt Publications, a regional book publishing and distribution business established in 1984. She was awarded the Medallion Award from the State of California for her 30 years of volunteer work on behalf of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. She is currently serving on the board of the San Diego Natural History Museum.