Wednesday, February 11 – Today, we hike in the Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve of Coachella Valley Preserve Trail System in Thousand Palms, CA, which is located about 10 miles east of Palm Springs, CA. This Preserve is approximately 880 acres. This preserve is located right on the famous San Andres Fault. Little San Bernardino Mountains surround the Preserve. As a matter of fact, if you visit Joshua Tree National Park and stop to view the San Andres Fault at Keys View, you are actually looking down on the Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve. The ranger even offered to take our picture standing on the fault.
Our hike today had us climbing all over that fault. We hiked two connecting trails, the McCallum Trail and the Moon Country Trail for a total a little over 4.5 miles. This is pretty much a hike in a desert environment. There are a few small mountains to climb and a few canyons we hiked down into but not a great deal of change in elevation. The toughest part of this hike is the soft "beach like" sand we found ourselves slugging through some of the time.
The McCallum Trail took us to the beautiful McCallum Pond which is formed by a natural earthquake seep, water seeping up along one of the several faults.
While we were admiring the Pond, one of the rangers was wading around in the pond.
She called us over to her work station to show us what she was doing. She was emptying her traps full of red swamp crayfish. This crayfish has displaced most of the other native species from this pond….that isn’t a good thing. She is trying to eliminate them from the ponds. She had a good size bucket full of those nasty looking creatures.
We were rewarded with a special treat today. We saw a bobcat! Marsha spotted him getting a nice cool drink of water, just as we started on the trail near the Visitor's Center. He put on a pretty nice show for us - must have known we were cat owners! Marsha ran back to show the photo to the Ranger. He came fast to see it. He said it was one of the best photos of the bobcat he has seen. We've been hoping to see a bobcat or mountain lion ever since we began hiking. Awesome!
If you are a frequent follower of our blog, you know we are early starters.
Boy are we glad we were one of the first hikers on the trails this morning. By the time we returned to the visitor's center, the parking lot was completely full of visitors, and the trails were filling up. It was also getting pretty hot in the desert by quitting time.
Tomorrow we are pulling up stakes and heading to Indio, CA.
Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!