indian sculpture at galleta meadows

A trip to the California high desert would be incomplete without visiting the large free public art installation in Borrego Springs.   The metal sculptures are sprinkled along the roadside in Galleta Meadows and are easily accessible to visitors 24/7.   

Galleta Meadows is only a few miles from Anza Borrego Desert State Park and less than an hour’s drive from Joshua Tree National Park.  Borrego Springs is located in Southern California only 1.5 hours drive from San Diego.

Are Galleta Meadows desert art sculptures worth visiting? 

The craftmanship and scope of the Galleta Meadows sculptures are impressive.  They are definitely worth visiting.

Each sculpture was designed and created by self-taught metal artist, Ricardo Brecada.  The volume and variety of the sculptures at Galleta Meadows add to the awe. 

I definitely wouldn’t go to Joshua Tree National Park or Anza Borrego Desert State Park without visiting Galleta Meadows sculptures.

sea serpent sculpture at galleta meadows

Galleta Meadows Desert Sculptures near Anza Borrego 

Borrego Springs is home to over 130 metal sculptures in the desert around Galleta Meadows Estates. They are a public art display worth a detour to Borrego Springs. 

You do not want to miss the opportunity to see art in the desert on your Anza Borrego Desert State Park or Joshua Tree National Park trip.    For more art in the desert, consider What to Expect at the Noah Purifoy Outdoor Desert Art Museum from an Art Novice.

How much does it cost to visit the desert art sculptures in Galleta Meadows? 

The Galleta Meadows sculptures are free to visit. You do not need a State Park Pass to visit the sculptures near Anza Borrego State Park.   

Top Tips for Visiting Galleta Meadows Sculptures in Anza Borrego 

  • In my opinion, a few sculptures are enough to appreciate the craftsmanship.  Don’t feel obligated to visit all 130.   Choose a handful of sculptures to visit (preferably a few that are located in the same area) and prioritize those.   
  • Make sure to only drive on the well-traveled paths. Do not drive on loose sand.  We saw a small sedan stuck up to its axles in loose sand after getting off the path.   
  • Get out of your car.  Be sure to park your car and walk up to the sculptures. Getting close is the best way to really appreciate the detailed craftsmanship. 
close up of sloth sculpture at galleta meadows

When is the best time to visit Galleta Meadows sculptures? 

We visited Galleta Meadows in the late afternoon. The sun setting on the sculptures casts a beautiful golden glow.   Sunset on a clear day is the best time to visit the sculptures for photography.     

Summer is very hot in Borrego Springs. Therefore, spring or fall are the best times to visit.  The spring Wildflower bloom would be a great time to plan your trip but it can be difficult to pinpoint. 

Where can I find the Galleta Meadows Anza Borrego metal sculptures? 

We’ve consolidated the GPS coordinates here for the most popular and can’t miss metal sculptures at Anza Borrego Galleta Meadows.

There are multiple clusters of metal sculptures at Anza Borrego so I recommend choosing a few and using our GPS coordinates to head straight there. Then let serendipity lead you to more sculptures. Basically, drive a little more and you’ll spot others along the roadside.

We visited Galleta Meadows near sunset. Before we ran out of daylight we were able to visit about a dozen.  I feel like a dozen was a balanced number to visit so you can still cherish them before getting desensitized to the art.     

If you prefer to see them all, complete sculpture maps are available at several locations around Borrego Springs including the Anza Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center and the Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce.

Why are there sculptures in the desert? 

Dennis Avery, heir to the Avery Dennison label-making corporation and owner of Galleta Meadows Estate, envisioned turning his land into an open-air art gallery.  

He hired Ricardo Breceda to bring his vision to life.   

jeep sculpture in galleta meadows

Who made them? 

Ricardo Brecada was born in Durango Mexico and has been living in California for over 25 years.  He was working as a cowboy boot salesman when he traded a pair of boots for a welding machine.    

Ricardo is a self-taught metal artist. His 6-year-old daughter, Lianna, asked for a dinosaur of her own for Christmas after watching Jurassic Park III.   His first sculpture was a 20-foot Tyrannosaurus Rex for his daughter’s Christmas present. 

Ricardo’s hobby turned into a passion. And he has become a well-known sculptor designer.  

His most well-known works are located in Galleta Meadows in Borrego Springs California near Anza Borrego State Park.   The 350 feet sea serpent swimming in the sand attracts visitors from around the world. 

Are the sculptures on private land? 

Galleta Meadows Estate is privately owned but visitors are welcome to tour the sculptures.   

They are located along the roadside and are accessible in any vehicle. We even saw some people visiting on bicycles. The outdoor exhibit is open 24/7.

elephant sculpture at galleta meadows

How many metal sculptures are there at Anza Borrego? 

Ricardo has created 130 metal sculptures for Galleta Meadows and they are installed in the desert around Anza Borrego Desert State Park.    

The artist claims he has finished the installation but new sculptures still appear occasionally. 

tortoise sculpture at galleta meadows

What sculptures are at Galleta Meadows in Anza Borrego? 

The sculptures are separated into three collections based on their inspiration. The collections are whim and fantasy, history and nature as well as fossil treasures. 

Sculpture Locations at Galleta Meadows including GPS coordinates

If you find one sculpture at Galleta Meadows, you’ll easily be able to drive to the next visually without mapping each one.

I would recommend noting the GPS coordinates for your top 3 can’t miss sculptures to start your Galleta Meadows tour and then just look for others along the road.

Here is an overview of the sculptures and their GPS coordinates by the Galleta Meadows collection. 

Whim & Fantasy Metal Sculptures at Anza Borrego Galleta Meadows

History and Nature Metal Sculptures at Anza Borrego Galleta Meadows

Fossil Treasures Metal Sculptures at Anza Borrego Galleta Meadows

bighorn sculpture at galleta meadows

 Summary Anza Borrego Galleta Meadows Sculptures 

We enjoyed visiting the metal sculptures in Galleta Meadows while staying nearby.  It’s a beautiful location for unique sunset photos.  The sculptures are great examples of the self-taught metal artist, Ricardo Breceda. And we definitely wouldn’t visit Joshua Tree National Park or Anza Borrego State Park without a quick detour through Galleta Meadows metal sculptures near Anza Borrego. 

scorpion sculpture at galleta meadows

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