Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Borrego's own Jurassic Park

Visit the T-rex, the Spinosaurus, and even Ricardo

Dennis Avery, whose father founded Avery Dennison Corp., funded philanthropic endeavors across the globe and a whimsical sculpture garden of prehistoric and other creatures in the desert northeast of San Diego. This bike tour is routed through the sculptures found in the southern part of the Borrego Valley.

Ricardo Breceda’s Sky Art metal sculptures were commissioned by Avery and placed on land owned by Avery. The sculptures are based on the fossil record from the Pleistocene era with animals such as Eocene horse, sabertooth cat, and mammoth. This southern valley is also where hard science meets fantasy with a sprinkling of dinosaur sculptures that do not represent fossils found in this region. The dinosaurs are contained in their own “Jurassic Park” with Tyrannosaurus rex, Spinosaurus, Allosaurus, and more, isolated off the main road.

A mountain bike is needed to visit the Spinosaurus.

The Sky Art metal sculptures first appeared on Avery’s property in 2008. They remain open to the public for viewing. The original sculptures were based on real animals as depicted in the award-winning book Fossil Treasures of the Anza-Borrego Desert. A Sky Art Metal Sculptures of Borrego Valley laminated map gives details about each of the sculptures as does a new e-book entitled Metal Sculptures of Borrego Valley, which has links to articles, stories, and videos about the sculptures, the artist, and the landowner. For those who want even more details and photographs, there is also a coffee-table book entitled Ricardo Breceda: Accidental Artist that has won numerous awards.

A mountain bike is recommended for this ride in order to view the dinosaur area, or the dinosaurs can be skipped if riding a road bike. Begin the ride at Christmas Circle and cycle down SR-3 or Borrego Springs Road. At mile 3.8 will be the first sculpture on the left (north). The Aiolornis was the largest flight-capable bird with a wingspan of almost 17 feet. Continuing down the road are sabertooth cats attacking Eocene horses, more horses grazing, and mammoths. Across from the mammoths to the east is Anzio Drive. It is paved for about one-quarter mile where another stunning Aiolornis is found clutching his prey. Continue down this road only with a mountain bike. After one mile from SR-3, turn right (west) on the dirt road to view the dinosaurs.

After a mile, turn right again to return to SR-3. For a short ride, turn left and return to Christmas Circle. To extend the ride, turn right and continue to the junction of SR-3 and Yaqui Pass Road. La Casa del Zorro is on the southeast corner. Continuing along Borrego Springs Road a few hundred feet leads to a warehouse on the left (north) where artist Ricardo Breceda can sometimes be found. The entrance to his work area is marked by a metal dinosaur. Stop by and say hello to him, as he loves visitors.

Complete the ride by cycling north on Yaqui Pass Road, which turns left (west) and becomes Rango Way. As soon as this turn is made, look right to the first driveway that leads to what is called today “Old Borego” (with one “r”), the original center of town. Rango Way turns again to the right and becomes Borrego Valley Road. Continue for another 3 miles until the junction with Palm Canyon Drive. Turn left and return to Christmas Circle. There are 27 sites and 131 sculptures in the valley. For a bike tour to see the rest of the sculptures, see last week’s Roam-O-Rama column.


  • Distance from downtown San Diego: About 85 miles to Christmas Circle (Borrego Springs). Allow about 2 hours by car. From Ramona, drive east on SR-78 to Santa Ysabel. Turn north on SR-79 and drive to the junction with SR-2/San Felipe Road and turn southeast. At the junction with SR-22, turn east to Ranchita and follow SR-22 to the stop sign in Borrego Springs. Turn left and drive to Christmas Circle and park. Facilities.
  • Biking length: From 9 to 15 miles, depending on route. Difficulty: Easy to moderate. Requires mountain bike for dirt portions. Facilities at Christmas Circle. Carry water. Relatively flat. Wind usually from the west. The sculptures can also be viewed in summer months if riding either early morning or late afternoon.
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Dead Cross cover Black Flag’s “Rise Above” in solidarity with Black Lives Matter

Jonny Tarr, Dead Cross, Electric Mud, Howard Blank’s Outsiders, Trees
Next Article

What opera is closest to California redwoods?

Tough competing with the English and Austrians

Dennis Avery, whose father founded Avery Dennison Corp., funded philanthropic endeavors across the globe and a whimsical sculpture garden of prehistoric and other creatures in the desert northeast of San Diego. This bike tour is routed through the sculptures found in the southern part of the Borrego Valley.

Ricardo Breceda’s Sky Art metal sculptures were commissioned by Avery and placed on land owned by Avery. The sculptures are based on the fossil record from the Pleistocene era with animals such as Eocene horse, sabertooth cat, and mammoth. This southern valley is also where hard science meets fantasy with a sprinkling of dinosaur sculptures that do not represent fossils found in this region. The dinosaurs are contained in their own “Jurassic Park” with Tyrannosaurus rex, Spinosaurus, Allosaurus, and more, isolated off the main road.

A mountain bike is needed to visit the Spinosaurus.

The Sky Art metal sculptures first appeared on Avery’s property in 2008. They remain open to the public for viewing. The original sculptures were based on real animals as depicted in the award-winning book Fossil Treasures of the Anza-Borrego Desert. A Sky Art Metal Sculptures of Borrego Valley laminated map gives details about each of the sculptures as does a new e-book entitled Metal Sculptures of Borrego Valley, which has links to articles, stories, and videos about the sculptures, the artist, and the landowner. For those who want even more details and photographs, there is also a coffee-table book entitled Ricardo Breceda: Accidental Artist that has won numerous awards.

A mountain bike is recommended for this ride in order to view the dinosaur area, or the dinosaurs can be skipped if riding a road bike. Begin the ride at Christmas Circle and cycle down SR-3 or Borrego Springs Road. At mile 3.8 will be the first sculpture on the left (north). The Aiolornis was the largest flight-capable bird with a wingspan of almost 17 feet. Continuing down the road are sabertooth cats attacking Eocene horses, more horses grazing, and mammoths. Across from the mammoths to the east is Anzio Drive. It is paved for about one-quarter mile where another stunning Aiolornis is found clutching his prey. Continue down this road only with a mountain bike. After one mile from SR-3, turn right (west) on the dirt road to view the dinosaurs.

After a mile, turn right again to return to SR-3. For a short ride, turn left and return to Christmas Circle. To extend the ride, turn right and continue to the junction of SR-3 and Yaqui Pass Road. La Casa del Zorro is on the southeast corner. Continuing along Borrego Springs Road a few hundred feet leads to a warehouse on the left (north) where artist Ricardo Breceda can sometimes be found. The entrance to his work area is marked by a metal dinosaur. Stop by and say hello to him, as he loves visitors.

Complete the ride by cycling north on Yaqui Pass Road, which turns left (west) and becomes Rango Way. As soon as this turn is made, look right to the first driveway that leads to what is called today “Old Borego” (with one “r”), the original center of town. Rango Way turns again to the right and becomes Borrego Valley Road. Continue for another 3 miles until the junction with Palm Canyon Drive. Turn left and return to Christmas Circle. There are 27 sites and 131 sculptures in the valley. For a bike tour to see the rest of the sculptures, see last week’s Roam-O-Rama column.


  • Distance from downtown San Diego: About 85 miles to Christmas Circle (Borrego Springs). Allow about 2 hours by car. From Ramona, drive east on SR-78 to Santa Ysabel. Turn north on SR-79 and drive to the junction with SR-2/San Felipe Road and turn southeast. At the junction with SR-22, turn east to Ranchita and follow SR-22 to the stop sign in Borrego Springs. Turn left and drive to Christmas Circle and park. Facilities.
  • Biking length: From 9 to 15 miles, depending on route. Difficulty: Easy to moderate. Requires mountain bike for dirt portions. Facilities at Christmas Circle. Carry water. Relatively flat. Wind usually from the west. The sculptures can also be viewed in summer months if riding either early morning or late afternoon.
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

"We had to get canning quickly"

In response to covid, these small brewers now offer beer in cans for the first time
Next Article

Imperial Beach, town without pretense

Sleeping ban. sandcastle stomping, immigrant shelter, breakwater, Brian Bilbray
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close