Nature Watch: "Font's Point"


Last updated 12/13/2022 at 10:22am

Ernie Cowan

Bandlands overlook

I could make money sitting with my morning coffee at Calico and answering visitors who ask, "where's the best place to go if I am only here for the day?"

But it's such an easy question to answer that I could hardly charge for my armchair tour guide.

If you live in Borrego Springs, you may have already answered the question. If you are a visitor, the answer is Font's Point.

This iconic viewpoint is close to town, relatively easy to drive or hike to, and offers an unmatched view of the Borrego Badlands and vast expanse of California's largest state park.

Font's Point is the apex of the Ocotillo Rim, a roughly 10-mile escarpment created by geological forces that saw the northern portion uplifted and the southern portion dip. Time and erosion have created a curdled landscape that can be viewed from Font's Point.

At an elevation of about 1,200 feet, Font's Point has a commanding view across the desert, giving visitors some sense of what this wilderness place looked like when the first human footprints were left in the shifting sands.

Sunrise and sunsets are the most dramatic time to visit the overlook, and many visitors enjoy watching a full moon rise from this location. Sunsets with a lingering picnic are also a relaxing way to enjoy the beauty of this place.

To reach the area, go east on S-22 from Christmas Circle for about seven miles and look for the sign on the right that says Font's Point. From here, a 4-mile dirt road heads south to a parking area adjacent to the overlook.

It's always good to check in at the park visitor center for the latest road information or to obtain a guidebook or map of the area.

There are a few words of caution. Don't try to drive there in your Prius or similar low profile two-wheel drive vehicle. If you are not experienced in driving sandy roads, it can be easy to get stuck.

An all-wheel drive vehicle is a better choice, but the road is generally good and not difficult.

Another popular option is to hike to the point. The terrain is mild, and the desert scenery is spectacular.

If you have questions or comments, contact Ernie at or follow him at