Full Moon Desert Nights

Magical, mystical, otherworldly; these are some of the words used to describe the desert at night on the full moon desert walks sponsored by the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association each month from November to April. ABDNHA has been offering these free hikes for the past eight years and it is not unusual for participants to claim the experience is a highlight of their visit to the desert. With the landscape bathed in a flat and blueish light on a cloudless desert night the rock formations and canyons take on a luminous glow that is bright enough that no flashlights are required. This moonlit desert landscape can be experienced for three consecutive nights each month, assuming there are no clouds, the night of the full moon, plus the night before and after the full moon date. All three nights offer approximately the same amount of moonlight.

To experience the desert under the light of a full moon you can sign up for one of ABDNHA's free moonlight hikes or you can experience it on your own; just find a scenic area away away from all artificial lighting and enjoy the show that is provided by nature! Both Borrego Springs and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park are official international dark sky areas so getting away from man made light is not a difficult thing to do.

The full moon is also a fun time to experiment with moonlight photography, all you need is a tripod and a camera that can be set to long exposures to capture the special look of rock formations and natural patterns illuminated by the moon.