If you're looking for an adventure and love to ride motorcycles, then the Anza Borrego Desert is your place! This vast and rugged landscape offers plenty of challenges and opportunities for exploration. Whether you're exploring the back roads or taking on one of the area's many trails, a dual-sport motorcycle is a perfect way to go. Follow our conversation with MotoTote Roamer, Ryan (@reform_life) as he answers a few questions about his recent Anza Borrego trip with Yamaha TW200 and his MotoTote Max+ motorcycle hitch carrier.
Where is Anza Borrego Desert State Park?
The Anza Borrego State Park is located in Southern California, about 2 hours east of San Diego. It's the largest state park in California and covers over 600,000 acres with over 500 miles of dirt trails/roads.
What was your plan for the trip?
The plan was simple. Meet up with my friend Mark who rode out there on his motorcycle & set up a remote basecamp with my van and MotoTote motorcycle carrier. From there, we would ride new trails and discover new areas in the park, deeper than we had been before.
Where did you camp?
The park is full of dispersed camping. We explored the south end of the park, a few miles away from a famous slot canyon, and found a nice open area with beautiful panoramic views and trails in every direction. If you camp, pack out what you pack in and leave no trace. If you want to camp further off the beaten path, bring a 4x4 vehicle with a MotoTote motorcycle carrier or camp off your motorcycle.
What did you pack?
Since the park is very remote, you need to be self-reliant and prepared. By bringing my 4x4 Sprinter Van as a basecamp and motorcycle hauler, I felt adequately prepared for whatever came our way. Lots of water, food, and extra gas. It's good practice to bring also GPS/satellite communicator if anything comes up. If you don't have a vehicle, be sure to have something to rig up some shade. You'll be happy to return to it after some hard riding.
How did your TW200 perform?
The TW200 felt at home in the Anza Borrego Desert. With the variety of terrain on offer, packed dirt, sand, rocky roads & steep hills, you'll want something that likes the dirt if you're planning to make the most of the desert. Many washes, roads, and trails are for licensed vehicles only, so the entire area is open to play with a dual-sport.
What was your favorite part about the trip?
My favorite part about the trip was how endless the desert is; you can ride for days and never see the same thing twice. There are also a ton of different trails to explore, so you can always find something new to ride.
How was the weather?
The weather was warm but bearable, about 80 degrees through the day and in the 60s at night. The best time to ride in Anza Borrego is typically fall through spring. The summers can be sweltering, so it's not recommended to ride during that time. The winter is also a great time to ride, as the temperatures are more moderate and there's often rain, making for some beautiful scenery. Just be careful of rain due to flash flooding.
What are some tips you would give to someone planning a similar trip?
To make the most out of the trip, I would recommend coming up with a basic plan with a printed map for reference. You will need this since cell service is extremely limited in the park. Be aware of the weather before you go so you can adequately plan. Be sure to pack lots of water, food & fuel. Have a plan if anything goes wrong. Bring a vehicle as base camp with your MotoTote motorcycle carrier to get good rest and fuel up. Have fun!