Autumn Hike

Big Morongo Canyon Preserve Walkabout



Big Morongo Canyon Preserve

Philip Ferranti

Length:  3 miles
Hiking time:  2 hours
Elevation gain:  200 feet
Difficulty:  Easy
Information:  BMC Preserve, Morongo Valley, 760-363-7190; www.bigmorongo.org

Big Morongo Canyon Preserve serves as a transitional zone between the Mojave and Sonoran deserts. It offers the visitor a rich landscape suggestive of New Mexico hill country. An explosion of cottonwoods, red willows, cattails, bulrushes, and other riparian species contrasts sharply with the barren desert landscape nearby. In fall, yellow cottonwoods scent the air with the musty smell of approaching winter.

The preserve is a favorite escape. Its clear, cool morning air complements majestic San Gorgonio Peak to the west. So different is this area from the nearby lower deserts that in just a few miles the visitor has traveled back both in time and place, refreshed by the brilliant foliage and colors, smells, flowing water, and wildlife.

Visitors will be amazed at the year-round contrast between lush wetlands and surrounding desert slopes. Pack a picnic lunch, take your camera, leave your stressful worries behind, and let Big Morongo Canyon Preserve work its magic on you.

Adapted with permission of the publisher from Philip Ferranti’s book, 140 Great Hikes in and Near Palm Springs (Big Earth Publishing).

Big Morongo Canyon Preserve Trail Map

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Spring Forward

The desert is blooming with colors, and here are suggestions on where to gain the best views when you take a hike.

Find Your Hike in Greater Palm Springs

The Coachella Valley Hiking Club continues to blaze new trails whether it's a beginner or an expert trying to discover the beauty of Greater Palm Springs.

Rock Around the Clock

Every Saturday during the May-through-October rock-climbing season, Joshua Tree National Park hosts a pop-up coffee klatsch called Climbers Coffee.

6 Christmas Gifts to Tackle Palm Springs Hiking

Palm Springs sportsman and hiking expert Scott Scott says use your head when it comes to Christmas gifts for that beginner or expert hiker.

Call of the Wild

The release of Cheryl Strayed's best-selling book,Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, which was made into a movie, has brought lots of hikers to the Pacific Crest Trail's run through Palm Desert.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

Palm Springs Life's Women in Business

Palm Springs Life's Women in Business

Celebrate the Coachella Valley’s most dynamic women in business at the May 12 luncheon featuring keynote speaker Laura Schwab, President, Aston Martin The Americas. The luncheon takes place at The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage.
Fashionista Friends

Fashionista Friends

Experience the glitz and glamour of Fashion Week El Paseo 2016.
Food + Wine Festival Grand Experience

Food + Wine Festival Grand Experience

Enter for a Chance to Win a Food + Wine Festival Palm Desert 2016 Grand Experience
Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Edit ModuleShow Tags