Things Named Chuck

Chuck Roast, Chuck Taylors, and Chuckwallas!

The first two you know, but what’s a chuckwalla? Pack yourself a couple of sandwiches from last night’s leftover chuck roast, put those Chuck Taylor sneakers on your feet, and head out into the Anza-Borrego Desert to find chuckwallas.


The triple-digit temperatures of summer in the desert may be hellish for human beings but it is heaven-on-earth for chuckwallas. Chuckwallas are big, stocky, scary-looking lizards that are completely harmless. These imposing creatures are about 16 inches long – that’s longer than your computer keyboard – and love to bask on hot rocks. Their loose scaly skins and mottled black, gray, and speckled orange colors make an ideal combination for blending into their desert surroundings.

Chuckwallas | Anza Borrego Desert

Just like many modern people, chuckwallas are vegans. They graze on flowers, fruits, and leaves in the morning and spend the rest of the day snoozing in the sun. If you see one, whip out your little cell phone camera and take a picture quick. Your ‘chuck’ is going to duck into a rocky crack to get away from you and inflate himself to look even bigger for protection.

Summer’s heat is when the chuckwallas’ thoughts lightly turn to love.

That’s right – it’s mating season from April through July out there among the rocks. Chuckwallas are solitary with the exception of breeding season. Males use head-bobbing, licking, nudging and jaw-rubbing to entice females. They compete for the right to mate with females by biting and head-butting other males. Mrs. Chuckwalla then lays as many as 18 eggs in a warm crevice. After their brief romances, chuckwallas go their separate ways. Like other lizards, the baby chucks rear themselves.

So, c’mon back to the Springs at Borrego RV Resort and Golf Course and show off your chuckwalla pictures to the other guests at our free Tuesday cookouts on the terrace beside the pond. The ‘chucks’ wouldn’t eat the chili, hot dogs, or s’mores at our free weekly event, but you and your kids will love them.

Find Lizard-Love in the Anza-Borrego Desert. Take Pics of the Chuckwallas and Amaze Your Friends!

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