Please hike with caution
I have had several reports of cars being broken into and vandalized in the area, and windows smashed and items stolen from the cars. If you park in the main parking lot at the preserve you are probably pretty safe, these type of incidents seem to happen more when people park along the road for the trailheads away from the main area of the preserve.
The Coachella Valley Preserve is located 10 miles east of Palm Springs near 1000 Palms. It is a 17,000 acre site that is home to the Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard, which is found nowhere else in the world. It is also home of the spectacular Thousand Palm Oasis which is fed by water seeping out of the San Andreas Fault. There are also several other Palm Oases, including the Willis, Hidden Horseshoe, and Indian Palms. Located in the center is the Paul Wilhelm Grove that is also the location of the Preserve’s visitor’s center. The preserve has several hiking trails including the McCallum, Hidden Palms, Moon Country, Pushawalla Palms, and Willis Palms trails.
Trails in the Coachella Valley Preserve
- Pushawalla Palms Trail loop – Hike along an uplifted section of the San Andreas Fault Zone on the Pushawalla trail.
- Willis Palms Trail – A fairly easy hike to a palm oasis.
- McCallum Trail – A nice hike through the Coachella Valley preserve.
The Pushawalla Palms trail is probably the most strenuous of the trails. Climbing from the desert floor just east of the visitors center, this trail follows an uplifted section of the Mission Creek Fault, which is part of the San Andreas Fault system. At the end of the trail is Pushawalla Palms oasis, which is located in a deep canyon carved into the Indio Hills. It is about a six mile round trip hike, so be sure to take plenty of water and wear proper shoe and clothing ( for more desert hiking tips see the link below ). The Hidden Palms trail is about 3-5 miles long depending on the route you take, but you are rewarded with a beautiful view of the oasis, and the Coachella Valley! The Willis Palms trail is probably the easiest of the trail, but it is still a 4-5 mile hike, so be prepared!
To reach the Coachella Valley Preserve, take Interstate 10 to the Ramon Road exit. Turn left and follow Ramon Road and make a left turn on Thousand Palms Road. The entrance to the visitors center is located about two miles on the left. At the visitors center you can get a guide for the Coachella Valley Preserve which gives the hiker valuable information on the trail, plant and wildlife, geology of the area, and a history of the area. The Coachella Valley preserve is open daily from sunrise to sunset. They do ask that you plan your time so you are out of the parking lot by sundown.