Clark Lake, Borrego Springs, California
Utahraptor at Borrego Springs
Clark Lake and the nearby Peg Leg Smith Historical Marker are very popular RV camping areas just outside Borrego Springs. The number of RVs camped here at the time of writing is well over 100. Many of these campers are concentrated at the Peg Leg Smith parking area, which is funny because there are countless more campsites to be found to the northeast, just off Highway S22 (Borrego Salton Seaway). These campsites are in Clark Valley, south of Clark Lake.
There is plenty of room to stretch out and the campsites are very spacious. The area is open desert sparsely vegetated with creosote bush. I see a few tent campers here, as well as colossal Class A motorhomes. The pleasant winter weather makes it quite popular with snowbirds, some who may very well spend the entire winter camped here. In fact I saw one RV camper with enough firewood to last a couple winters.
Borrego Springs is only a 7 mile drive away for supplies.
RV Campsite GPS Coordinates: N 33° 18.046’ W 116° 16.749’
Elevation: 650 feet
Campground Directions: From Christmas Circle in Borrego Springs head east on Palm Canyon Drive (Hwy S22) for 4.2 miles then north on Peg Leg Road, still following the highway. In 2.4 miles you'll begin heading east once again. Soon after the curve, turn left (north) on Rockhouse Canyon Road. There are countless campsites here among the open desert south of Clark Lake.
Clark Lake Campground Map
View RV Camping Southern California in a larger map
Borrego Springs, Clark Lake RV Camping Journal
February 26th, 2013
Recreation: There’s much to explore, even right here from camp. To the northwest is Coyote Mountain, which has several hiking trails taking you up for a nice view of Borrego Valley and the loftier mountains surrounding the valley. These trails can be accessed from the very southeast end of the Coyote Mountain Range, near the Peg Leg Smith Historical Marker.
Then there’s Clark Lake to the north, a dry lake bed that makes for easy hiking. The views from this low point are impressive. Your eyes will probably tell you you’re seeing water, when in reality it’s just a mirage. The Santa Rosa Mountains appear to rise even higher when viewed from this desolate plain.
And don’t miss the Borrego Badlands to the southeast. It’s an easy hike, or drive to Fonts Point for an incredible view of an extremely rugged and desolate environment that’s very beautiful nonetheless. It’s a fantastic display of erosion.
Last but not least is the town of Borrego Springs. You’ll find lush groves of palm, lemon, orange, and grapefruit trees. Throughout town you can't help but notice the fascinating metal sculptures of prehistoric creatures. The town is extremely bike friendly and traffic is light.
Peacefulness: Highway S22 is in view and traffic can sometimes be heard, though traffic is light on this highway. There are campsites further from the highway if one seeks more peace, but don't count on getting a cell signal. An occasional airplane or military jet can be heard overhead. Otherwise it’s as quiet as a desert and extremely peaceful. There are no gun shots to be heard as target practice is not allowed here or in the state park – something which is often a problem when camping so close to a town.
Weather: In the 2 weeks I’ve camped here highs have been in the 60s and 70s, lows in the 30s and 40s. Days have been a little breezy, and a few were very windy with 30-40 mph gusts. I also had a few days that were very nice and calm. I've had few clouds, with full sun on most days. There was a storm system that cooled things down and brought a good dusting of snow to the mountain tops. I heard Tucson even got snow from this one.
Wildlife: I heard coyotes on a few nights, which sounded very close to camp. I saw many black-tailed jackrabbits, a few ground squirrels, many ravens, hummingbirds, other small birds, and small lizards.
Insects: A few black beetles, bees, and a few flies.
Cell Signal: I had pretty fast Verizon Mobile Broadband Internet with the external antenna placed on my roof. Verizon cell phone calls weren’t so great though. I lost the signal several times while talking. I typically had 1 to 2 bars of 3g service. Even stepping outside the RV didn’t seem to help. However, walking a short distance uphill by going south or southwest may have helped.
RV Solar: 99% sun!
RV Campsite Rating: 9 out of 10. It’s very convenient right off the highway, there’s much to explore here, nice winter weather, spacious campsites, awesome views, and it’s very peaceful. It can be a bit windy at times, but overall it’s a fantastic camping area.