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Coachella Valley Preserve free

Thousand Palms Canyon Road | Desert Hot Springs, CA 92241 | Official website
Coachella Valley Preserve Photo info
Lowe R. Llaguno/Shutterstock
  • Type: Hiking, Parks and Gardens
  • Time to Spend: 2 hours to Half Day
Overall Rating: 4.5 (4.6)
Value: 5.0 (5.0)
Facilities: 4.5 (4.5)
Atmosphere: 4.5 (4.5)
About these ratings

The Coachella Valley Preserve may seem like barren desert landscape, but keep your eyes peeled and you'll see that the 17,000-acre area is more than just sand and brush. The preserve encompasses the smaller Thousand Palms Oasis preserve, which boasts a whopping 25 miles of hiking paths. Along the trails you'll spot rare wildlife (including the Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard) and lush palm woodland oases and desert wetlands, which at different times of the year blossoms with wildflowers. Before heading out, past visitors recommend stopping by the visitor center — located in a log cabin at the entrance of the park — to pick up a map of the trails. 

One TripAdvisor user recommended taking advantage of the tour guides that lead hikes: "We had a great time, primarily because of all of the information provided by the guide. Otherwise it would have been a very nice hike but not nearly as interesting."

The Coachella Valley Preserve is located about 15 miles east of Palm Springs in the town of Thousand Palms. Although the preserve is free to enjoy, a small donation is appreciated to help continue the park's preservation work. Keep in mind that the preserve is open daily from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. May through September. From October to April, the gates close at 5 p.m. Call 760-343-2733 in advance to see if the visitors center is open, as it's run by volunteers. For more information, visit the website.

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