Monday, February 9 - We found another wonderful hike here in the Palm Springs, CA, area. This area has hundreds of hiking opportunities. We ventured into the Whitewater Preserve this morning. Whitewater is made up of 2,851 acres between the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains. We headed for a hike on the Canyon View Loop trail. This is a four mile trail rated "moderate." We felt that was a pretty accurate rating and a very enjoyable hike.
It begins at the Ranger's Station and follows a segment of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).
The PCT is a trail similar to the Appalachian Trail (AT). The AT travels from Georgia to Maine along the East coast where the PCT travels 2650 miles from Mexico to Canada along the West coast. So now we can say we've hiked segments of both these famous trails!
The first half of our hike today, carried us up the mountain via a series of switchbacks. Nothing as strenuous as yesterday's climb, but no stroll in the park either. It gave us a pretty good workout with increased heart rates and some heavy breathing, that's for sure. But we enjoyed the workout and the views were some of the best we've ever experienced on a hike.
Once reaching the top of the mountain, the trail meandered along the rim of the canyon. It was amazing how the geology of the surrounding hillsides had changed form sandy and rocky cliffs to lush green meadows and bushes. This area will be gorgeous soon when all these flowering Brittle bushes are in bloom. Several have already started to burst open with beautiful yellow flowers.
Like yesterday, we stopped at the top of the mountain to share a small sandwich for breakfast. Another "breakfast with a view" and a lovely break before beginning our decent.
This area is inhabited by Bighorn Sheep, which we did see on the mountainside before beginning our hike.
There are also bears and mountain lions in the area and of course rattlesnakes, but thankfully they kept hidden. We did have a hawk fly very close overhead checking us out and looking for a little breakfast of his own. We didn't see him find anything, but we're sure there's plenty of small creatures roaming under all this bush that he would love to find.
The hike down was relaxing and enjoyable giving us an opportunity to enjoy the many awesome views and search the surrounding hillsides for wildlife.
Once off the mountain, the trail continued among the rocks of the Whitewater River back to the ranger's station. This part of the trail was a little difficult to find, but after roaming around the dry riverbed for a couple hundred yards, we found the trial markers and finished our hike back to the trailhead.
Another very enjoyable hike! We rank the Canyon View Loop Trail in the Whitewater Preserve as one of our top ten favorites and recommend it to others when in the area. We're enjoying our time here in the Palm Springs desert so much, that we are looking to extend our stay by another week. So check back and see what adventures we find to share.
Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!