The dragon.

Galleta Meadows Estate is a unique desert preserve complete with several outdoor sculpture areas.

The privately owned land is the legacy of Dennis Avery, whose environmental-conservation vision grew to include the creation of metal sculptures of current and prehistoric animals.

The sculptures include a wide variety of subjects: humans in a Jeep climbing a mound of rocks; a statue of Father Juan Bautista de Anza, who led an expedition to the Anza region; a 350-foot mythical dragon sculpture that seems to shimmer in the powerful desert sun; and even a Tyrannosaurus Rex in full rampage mode. 

Avery hired metal sculpture Ricardo Breceda to create the sculptures. More than 130 sculptures are on permanent display.

The areas, near Borrego Springs, are open to the public free of charge for hiking, cycling, picnics and photography. The sculptures are best visited in a vehicle, because they are spread over several areas.

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