“I have numerous “favorite” hiking places around the Coachella Valley—but one of my all-time favorites is one of the most majestic areas around, the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve.
This desert oasis is one of the 10 largest cottonwood and willow riparian habitats in California. The 31,000-acre wildlife preserve sits among the Little San Bernardino Mountains in the Sand to Snow National Monument, in the transition zone between the higher-elevation Mojave Desert and lower-elevation Colorado Desert section of the Sonoran Desert. The upstream end of the canyon lies in the Mojave Desert at an elevation of 3,000 feet; the downstream portion, the canyon floor, is at 600 feet of elevation and opens into the Colorado Desert section of the Sonoran Desert. Its diverse landscape has been an important part of the Morongo Basin’s natural and cultural history for almost 2 billion years…”