Words and images by: Gophrette Power
Original story: Anza-Borrego Desert Park

This is the second time in 2019 that Carole and I have visited Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The first time was back in March following a photoshoot with Brava Triathlon in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree National Park, both places that we visit regularly.

In fact, Stéphanie Jamin, one of the two co-founders of Brava Triathlon, accompanied us during this post-shoot trip. They ended up using some of the images from this second trip in their 2019 season brand material.

Why go back? Well, I think the pictures speak for themselves. Whatever the time of day or weather, the landscapes are superb. It makes shooting here so much easier. That said, the early and late hours of sunlight are when you get the real money shots.

This time we visited the Borrego Badlands to observe the erosion of Fonts Point. We also checked out Clark Lake for its tranquility, and to feel small next to the mountains surrounding it. We ran in the Mud Hills Wash and hiked the fearsome Elephant Knees. There is so much interesting flora and fauna to enjoy when running those trails. Wildlife like tarantulas, bighorn sheep, ants – lots of ants, birds – lots of birds, and snakes, as well as beautiful palm trees, cacti, flowers and trees with unpronounceable names.

We were there most recently during the holiday season. It was very quiet and the temperature was perfect. Depending on the season, this place can get very crowded. During our first visit last March, the desert was covered with flowers for miles. This made the landscape look distinctly different, less like a desert, and more like a giant garden. This attracts all the selfie-ists of the Californian coast who come in search of new content for their IG. The scene is utterly ridiculous to watch, and you’re guaranteed a good chuckle at their expense.

What you’ll find here is a selection of images I shot during our five day visit. It was way too short and we’ve still yet to see everything Anza-Borrego has to offer. We also only found out upon our return that the owner of our airbnb is an accomplished trail runner in his own right. He was nice enough to send us a pinned map with all of his favourite trails in the area. Needless to say, it’s very likely that we will be back soon.

Cédric Bonel (aka Gophrette Power), is a Montreal based photographer, runner and all around maverick. A close friend of the brand, Gophrette has shot for Ciele on numerous occasions.