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Visit the Coachella Valley Preserve

Updated on November 19, 2014

Palms, Palms, and More Palms!

I started visiting this preserve in Thousand Palms, California just north of Palm Springs. It's free to visit, though a parking donation is suggested. This preserve is a great place to visit if you like native California Fan Palm groves. It's even nice in the summer as the main grove is cool and inviting.

I really enjoyed the Pushwalla Palms area which required quite a bit of hiking. But, I also like the palm groves that don't require much walking from the parking lot, too. The hike can be a bit strenuous if you're not used to hiking. Be sure to pay attention to signs and markings as many trails intersect each other.

In this lens, I hope to post photos of the preserve and put updates as to its status as a preserve and other changes. I haven't been there as much as I used to, so I don't have a lot of new photos.

All the photos on this page were taken by me unless otherwise noted.

Hiking the Preserve

I remember the first time I visited this preserve. I had forgotten film for my camera and I didn't feel like driving down to Palm Desert or Indio to get some. So, I just started hiking and had hiked over Bee Hill towards Pushwalla Palms where I saw mountain lion tracks and an abandoned car. It was a really great hike. I have a digital SLR now, so I won't be forgetting film anymore.

The next few times I visited, I mostly walked along the wash and I did manage to get a few photos. This place is very photogenic, so my recommendation is NOT to forget your camera.

As always, especially when hiking in the desert, bring plenty of water and be wary of hot temperatures. Most of the trails are on on the easy save save for the climb up and down the hill to the Pushwalla Palms. Some trails are sandy and can be tiring.

Coachella Valley Preserve Official Website

Here is a link to the official website run by the Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve (AKA as the Coachella Valley Preserve). Check out the guided tours and how to help by volunteering. Be aware of the hours of the preserve. It's not advisable to use the preserve trails when it is closed and there's no overnight camping.

Books about the Desert on Amazon.com

Here are some books related to this region and the desert in general. Most of them are going to be focused on hiking trails and activities.

Best Easy Day Hikes Palm Springs and Coachella Valley (Best Easy Day Hikes Series)
Best Easy Day Hikes Palm Springs and Coachella Valley (Best Easy Day Hikes Series)

I have this book! Lots of trails and trail information. This is great for those who don't want to camp overnight or want something easily accessible by passenger car.

 

McCallum Grove

McCallum Grove
McCallum Grove

This is a very large grove easily visible from the main palm grove off of the parking lot. It's just a short hike from there, too. The grove was named after the first non-native settlers in the area and who started the first water company.

View from Main Palm Grove

California Fan Palms in Coachella Valley.
California Fan Palms in Coachella Valley.

I liked this view from the main palm grove because it looked across the field into a nice canyon. The main palm grove is located just off the parking lot near the visitor's center. This is a good trail for those who don't want to hike long distances or for when it's hot. It's a lot cooler in that main palm grove than out on the rest of the trails.

Large California Fan Palm Grove

One of many palm groves with California Fan Palms
One of many palm groves with California Fan Palms

This palm grove can actually be seen from the paved road to the south of the preserve. Here is a view of it from on top of Bee Hill. This view can be seen as one hikes to Pushwalla Palms. Part of it is visible from the paved road.

Narrow hiking trail to Pushawalla Palms via the hill.

Bee Hill Trail
Bee Hill Trail

Be careful on windy days as you can literally be blown off this trail. There really isn't much wiggle room. However, you get a GREAT view of Coachella Valley from there as well as a great view of the preserve. Plus, I found some interesting plants and insects up there.

Coachella Valley Preserve

"Desertnut" has hiked this preserve many times and have made many videos about this area. I think she gives a good perspective about the area. Some of these videos are a couple years old, but still relevant.

Hiking supplies!

I picked out a few hiking supplies that would be helpful for hiking in this area.

Hammers HP5 Anti-Shock Hiking Pole with Compass & Thermometer
Hammers HP5 Anti-Shock Hiking Pole with Compass & Thermometer

Useful for those rocky areas or hills like Bee Hill and the Pushwalla Palms trail. The compass may be useful for some people as well.

 
Outdoor Research Traverse Hat Sun Hat, 910-Sand, Large
Outdoor Research Traverse Hat Sun Hat, 910-Sand, Large

A wide-brim hat is the best type of hat for desert hiking as it shades your face and neck. Being able to keep it from blowing away in the sometimes windy desert also helps.

 

Please let me know what you think and what I should add to this hub. I haven't been there in a while, but I keep up with all the news and activities in the area.

Hi! Thanks for visiting!

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    • profile image

      RaniaCalvenea 4 years ago

      Neat lens, I grew up a few miles from Joshua Tree National Park and I've been to these places lots of times.

    • microfarmproject profile image

      microfarmproject 5 years ago

      Lovely photos. I have driven through this area many times, but have never stopped to hike. Perhaps next time I will.

    • kindoak profile image

      kindoak 5 years ago

      Desert environments are awesome. Some views remind me of Galapagos.

    • Andy-Po profile image

      Andy 5 years ago from London, England

      Looks like a wonderful place to visit. I have been to California a lot and Palm Springs, but have yet visited the Coachella Valley Preserve.

    • OzGirl LM profile image

      OzGirl LM 5 years ago

      I'm sure that's a great spot to hike, but you saw mountain lion tracks...and went back by yourself?!! Wow. I was just reading some threads last night about mountain lion/cougar sightings in the USA, with accounts of some of the attacks. Talk about scary!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      greatt place for adventurer

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Looks like a gorgeous bit of country! Thanks for sharing! :)

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 5 years ago

      Sounds like a really nice place to visit.

    • Shorebirdie profile image
      Author

      Shorebirdie 5 years ago from San Diego, CA

      @SteveKaye: Thanks! Unfortunately, my financial situation and the price of gas has prevented me from getting fresh material for this lens and the Anza-Borrego lens. I hope to make a trip out there at least once this year.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      I'm going to bookmark this lens and some of your other lenses so that I can refer to them later. Thanks for providing this info.

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 8 years ago from Massachusetts

      Nicely done! I haven't been to the Thousand Palms preserve, but I've been to Palm Springs many times. I'm lensrolling this to my Palm Springs lens.