Hike Big Morongo Canyon Preserve
The Big Morongo Canyon Preserve lies between Palm Springs in Joshua Tree, nestled away off route 62. It’s a natural spring fed desert oasis, so it’s surprisingly lush and green for being in the middle of the desert.
The natural diversity in this region is high, and it’s one of the most important bird habitats in all of California with over 260 species.
We started our hike in the parking lot with a well marked trail head that can lead you down several different paths.
We started on the Marsh trail to the right, with a beautifully well maintained path of planks above the marsh. It’s a well shaded path with lots of greenery, and there are several decks with benches along the way if you want to stop and rest or carry in a picnic. Just remember to pack out whatever you bring in so you don’t disturb the animals and their natural habitat.
We turned left to take the Mequite Trail to the _____ Deck.
From the deck, we went back and headed up the mountain onto the Yucca Ridge Trail, where the landscape turns quite a bit more dry away from the abundance of water in the river beds.
From the top you can see an aerial view of the surrounding mountains.
Yucca Ridge Trail connects to Desert Willow Trail, where you drop back into the shade of the tree-lined paths.
You pop out from the the canopy back onto Marsh Trail and to the start of the trailhead.
All of the trails on this map are on the easy side, more of a nature walk than a true hike. You can take Canyon Trail 8.3 miles round trip if you want a workout. Just bring plenty of water and snacks.
I’m hoping to look more closely for all the animals next trip! There are some really amazing birds and reptiles in the region!