We spent two weeks over Christmas 2022 in Borrego Springs, California. Like most visitors, we were there to explore Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. But no visit to the area would be complete without checking out the famous Sky Art sculptures of Galleta Meadows. Spread over 1500+ acres of the surrounding desert, most people drive to just a handful of the most popular sculptures. It only took seeing a couple of the 130 sculptures to know I wanted to see as many of them as possible.

The Serpent is the most popular and impressive of the Sky Art sculptures. He is 350 feet long and stretches across both sides of the road. He has the tail of a rattlesnake, the body of a sea serpent, and the head of a Chinese dragon.

The Sky Art sculptures of Galleta Meadows were created by Ricardo Breceda. A former construction worker, he taught himself how to weld and when his six-year-old daughter asked for a dinosaur for Christmas, Breceda welded her a 20-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus Rex. Dennis Avery, heir to the Avery Label company, saw some of Breceda’s work and commissioned sculptures to display on his desert property on the outskirts of Borrego Springs, California. What started as two sculptures in 2008 has grown to 130 today.

The sculptures are free to visit, but they are on the privately owned property of Galleta Meadows Estate. The area is unfenced and open to the public for visitation, including hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, photography, and bicycling. According to the Borrego Experience website, it requires a roundtrip of 22 miles to visit all of the sculptures. It is worth noting that you can drive right up to most of the statues, but some do require a short walk. Watch for signs indicating where vehicles are not allowed. Please be respectful of the private property so that we can all continue to have free access!

The majority of the sculptures are located on the northern and southern edges of town; however, these two festive Velociraptors are located behind the Borrego Springs Welcome Center.

The sculptures are spread out over a large area and we found walking to be an inefficient means to see them all. Driving from sculpture to sculpture seemed tedious with all the stop, go, and get out. For us, our ebikes were a fun way to visit all 130 sculptures (we stuck to the designated roads and did not ride into any area where vehicles were prohibited). We purchased a laminated guide/map at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center which was invaluable for finding all the sculptures. Trying to find them all is a bit like a larger than life Easter egg hunt! To my knowledge, the only sculpture we missed with the saguaro cactus. The guide also had interesting notes on some of the sculptures. All quotes included with my photos below were taken from that guide.

A terrifying sight!

The Sky Art sculptures have three different themes: fossil treasures of the Anza-Borrego Desert, history and nature of the Anza-Borrego Desert, and whim and fantasy. My favorites were the history and nature themed sculptures, but they were all spectacular. Below are a few of my photos—I hope you enjoy seeing some of these spectacular works of art!

Sculptures on the northern edge of Borrego Springs
Sculptures on the southern edge of Borrego Springs
This massive ground sloth was one of my favorites.
We lucked out and caught a bunch of sand-verbena blooming during our late December visit
“Extinct Horse – horses originated in North America about 57 million years ago. There were several successful emigrations to the Old World. Horses became extinct in North America about 11,000 years ago.”
“Gracile Sabertooth Cat and Extinct Horse – this sabertooth cat was smaller and a direct ancestor of Smilodon fatalis, California’s state fossil. It hunted by laying in ambush rather than chasing down its prey. It only ran short distances to catch prey such as the extinct horse.”
Two Gracile sabertooth cat in battle
“Incredible Wind God Bird and Prey – this was the largest flight-capable bird in North America and had a wingspan of 17 feet. It stood about 4 feet tall. Only 6 specimens of this bird have been found, and 3 of those come from the Anza-Borrego area…This predator is depicted with its prey, an extinct peccary.”

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The Adventure Continues

Join us for our next post as we welcome in 2023 and wrap up our adventures in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. And don’t forget to check out our Amazon RV and Adventure Gear recommendations. We only post products that we use and that meet the Evans Outdoor Adventures seal of approval. By accessing Amazon through our links and making any purchase (even things as simple as toothpaste!), you get Amazon’s every day low pricing and they share a little with us. This helps us maintain this website and is much appreciated!

I loved the Gold Miner & Mule with the stunning mountains in the background

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