Southern California Explorations – Part 1

As some of you know, I headed down to Southern California after the AGU Fall Meeting to visit with family. While there, I saw some pretty incredible views and took some amazing hikes.

palm trees
Palm trees in Sky Valley

I spent most of my time around Palm Springs. For those of you who don’t know, this area is full of hot springs and oases due to the fact that the San Andreas fault line is running just North of Palm Springs. This fault runs from North of San Francisco to Joshua Tree National Park, which is outside of Palm Springs.

Example of the fault line: on the left is grass, palm trees and other life, while on the right, there is desert.
Example of the fault line: on the left is grass, palm trees and other life, while on the right, there is desert.

The fault is fact a “strike-slip” fault between the North American and Pacific plates that causes the plates to move horizontally. For more information on the fault, please visit this website.

One of the hikes I completed was through a desert oasis right on the fault line in the Coachella Valley Preserve (shown in the fault line picture). This preserve system was created to protect a species of fringe-toed lizard. Although I didn’t see any, the day was clear and the palm trees are beautiful!

palm trees

I also spent time hiking in the south side of Joshua Tree National Park, where I had a spectacular view of Mount San Jacinto peak and State Park. I didn’t go into the park per se, so if you are interested, I wrote a blog post about it last year when I visited.

San Bernardino National Recreation area
San Bernardino National Recreation area in the mountains in the distance.

Speaking of that park, it is located in the San Bernardino National Forest, where I also got to spend time. There are a few mountain communities up there, including Idyllwild (which I visited), and as you can see, the views of the mountains are spectacular from there as well.

Sunset in the San Bernardino National Forest
Sunset in the San Bernardino National Forest

Last but not least was a stroll through Big Morongo Canyon Preserve, which is close to Joshua Tree National Park. This preserve has boarded walk areas and level trails for everyone to enjoy. Located in the Little San Bernardino Mountains, it is a large riparian area, which I was surprised to see. According to signs in the park, the preserve stretches between the Mojave Desert and marsh area from Big Morongo Creek.

Big Morongo Canyon Preserve
Big Morongo Canyon Preserve

Hope you enjoyed the walk through sunny Southern California, as most of you in the United States are coming out of a polar vertex! Stay tuned for California adventures part 2!

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2 thoughts on “Southern California Explorations – Part 1

  1. Pingback: Southern California Explorations – Part 2 | Environmental Explorations

  2. Pingback: Water in Los Angeles: where does it go? | Environmental Explorations

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