The 2nd Trail to Re-Open
The first trail to open is Squaw Hill, a short 300-foot ascent with a few gentle switchbacks leading to a great viewing area of the valley surrounded by mountains.
I help repair part of the 2-mile out and back Indian Palms Trail leading to 2 separate palm groves. (Who knew I’d be helping repair hiking trails when I retired? I mean, I read about volunteer working vacations opportunities and always thought, “How cool!” But now I am actually helping restore trails damaged by the flash flood of October 13th in the Coachella Valley Preserve.)
A few days later Jeff and I check it out.
The trail to Indian Palms begins in Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve’s parking lot.
We head out early in the day…
…and cross the street carefully to the east side of Thousand Palms Canyon Road.
The trail is well marked.
The mud in the wash is still wet and riddled with well-preserved bobcat tracks.
We take a left and hike toward the north palm grove first.
The water source is not visible but the California Fan Palms are evidence of its availability.
Barrel cactus, creosote bushes, and sandpaper plant stand watch among the rocks of the Indio Hills.
We follow the loop around the grove. Notice the younger palm trees with their frond petticoats. The taller palm tree looks like it has survived a fire with its blackened trunk and high skirt fronds. But it’s alive and well and even producing palm fruit dripping off its right side.
Here’s a great close-up of four-wing saltbush.
So much palm fruit, too high to pick…
Out of the loop, (hehe) we head to the south grove.
Water rises to the surface…
And lush palm fruit is within reach!
On our way back I finally get close up and personal with a barrel cactus.
With the McCallum Trail temporarily closed, the Indian Palms Trail receives lots of visitors.