Giant Dragon in California Desert

Ricardo Breceda Dragon Sculpture
Ricardo Breceda Dragon Sculpture


The dragon monument, sculpted by Ricardo Brecedo, straddles a road in Borrego Springs, California and is one of dozens of large animal sculptures in the area.

The Area:

Borrego Springs is a census-designated place (CDP) in San Diego County, California. The population was 3,429 at the 2010 census, up from 2,535 at the 2000 census, made up of both seasonal and year-round residents. Borrego Springs is completely surrounded by Anza-Borrego State Park, the largest of California’s State Parks.

The Sculptor:

Ricardo Breceda is an artist most well known for his large metal sculptures of animals. He was born in Durango, Mexico, but eventually moved to Borrego Springs, California as part of his job. He is unmarried and has a daughter. He originally worked as a cowboy boots salesman and a construction worker, but a construction accident caused him to leave the latter job. He made a metal sculpture of a Tyranosaurus Rex for his daughter after she asked for a dinosaur for Christmas following a viewing of Jurassic Park III.

He continued work on sculptures, and was eventually discovered by a philanthropist named Dennis Avery who paid him to construct more than 100 sculptures based on beasts found in a book he funded that depicts now-fossilized creatures in the Anza Borrego Desert as well as mythological screatures. Notable statues made by Breceda include a stagecoach pulled by horses, a large serpent, and a Tyranosaurus Rex.

Breceda was the subject of a book called “Ricardo Breceda: Accidental Artist”, and his art was cited by both The Huffington Post and the Union Tribune San Diego as reasons why people should visit the Anza-Borrego Desert.

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