Coachella Valley Preserve
Coachella Valley Preserve mostly attracts hikers and those interested in rare wildlife native to this desert location such as the fringe-toed lizard. Popular hiking trails include McCallum and Indian Palms, which are considered easy; Hidden Palms and Moon Country, which are considered moderate; and Pushawalla Palms and Herman’s Hike, which are difficult.
If you prefer a guided experience, Jeep tours and bike tours to the San Andreas Fault highlight the scenery of Coachella Valley, and some include a stop to see the Thousand Palms Oasis.
Things to know before you go
- Wear sun protection and bring as much water as you can carry when hiking in the desert.
- You should familiarize yourself with the signs of both sunstroke and heatstroke if you plan to hike.
- There is a visitor center where you can pick up a trail map (donations are appreciated).
How to get there
Coachella Valley Preserve is located on Thousand Palms Canyon Road, about 15 miles (25 kilometers) east of Palm Springs. There is a small parking lot.
When to get there
The preserve is open from early morning to early evening from October to April and until the late evening from May to July and in September; it’s closed in August. The visitor center has shorter hours and is closed from May to September. To avoid the heat, go in the morning or evening.
For those looking for a more immersive and interpretive hiking experience, take one of the guided hikes on offer that focus on specific aspects of the preserve’s wildlife, vegetation, and geology. Subject matters include desert birds, wildflowers, and the fault lines through the oasis.