The Coachella Valley Preserve
Today we drive to Palm Springs and head northeast of I-10 toward Thousand Palms Canyon Road where a parking lot leads to a 4 mile trailhead for the Willis Palms Loop. I circled the area in red and highlighted the hike in blue.
The green rectangle above shows the proximity of Thousand Palms Oasis and the McCallum Trail that we explored on November 29, 2017.
Here are some highlights from today’s hike:
I don’t know what these strange plants are. The stems swell into ocean-like seaweed polyps. I’m guessing the bulges store water. My internet connection keeps timing out so I will have to get back to you on this.
Meanwhile, the scenery is dry, rocky, and sparse, but oh so beautiful. We gradually ascend a ridge.
That’s Mt. San Gorgonio towering in the distance below…
Then we intersect with the Herman’s Hike Trail and head back down into the canyon.
The trail is not well-marked but instinct and numerous footprints guide us along.
The rocks are amazing and too big to collect so I take a few pics of our favorites.
At last the Willis Palm Grove appears and we KNOW we are heading in the right direction.
The deep blue sky, the bright green palm leaves, the dead yellow fronds, the fire-blackened tree trunks, and the deep white ash present a stunning photo opportunity but also remind us of the delicate ecosystem living here.