For thousands of years, particles of sand from the San Bernardino Mountains and Indio Hills washed into the Coachella Valley, forming a system of dunes. Today, these dunes are part of the Coachella Valley Preserve System, a 20,000-acre sanctuary that is home to several species of increasingly rare wildlife. The Coachella Valley Preserve also contains several palm oases, formed because San Andreas Fault lines allow water flowing underground to rise to the surface.
The spectacular Thousand Palms Oasis includes trails that wind past pools containing endangered desert pupfish. Native vegetation includes creosote bush, burrobush, smoke tree and desert lavender, part of this area’s unique habitat for wildlife. Enjoy some of the 30 miles of trails, picnic areas, cool oases and wildlife and wildflowers and take a walk into the past in the Visitors’ Center, the Palm House, a palm log cabin built in the 1930’s.
DIRECTIONS – Take Interstate 10 to the Bob Hope exit (about 10 miles east of Palm Springs);go north and turn right on Varner road. At Ramon Road, turn left. Drive east to Thousand Palms Canyon Drive. Turn north and drive about two miles to the entrance.