Big Morongo Canyon Preserve, Morongo Valley

#7 of 12 in Wildlife in California Desert
The Big Morongo Canyon Preserve is a 31,000 acre nature preserve nestles within San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, California. It is now apart of the Sand to Snow National Monument (2016) and administered by the BLM and managed by the Friends of the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. Home to the largest riparian cottonwood oasis in the Mojave Desert, it is one of the few locations within the area with water all-year-round. It is a popular destination sight for birdwatchers, with 254 bird species spotted. There are several hiking trails with diverse habitats, enhancing your experience uniquely with every trail you take. Various programs are offered throughout the year that will be posted on this page. These include bird walks, butterfly walks, nature-themed guided hikes, volunteer work days, school tours, and summer day camp programs. It is open everyday from sunrise to sunset. Hiking and picnicking is permitted.
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Big Morongo Canyon Preserve Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
109 reviews
  • My husband and I love to hike in the SoCal desert. Big Morongo Canyon Preserve is a fun choice, with different levels of difficulty. The Marsh Trail is an easy, but interesting, boardwalk. We've seen ...  more »
  • We have previously visited the preserve and walked the upper trails. This year we wanted to walk the canyon trail.We decided to use the shuttle system where we leave a car at the end of the trail, dri...  more »
  • January -Excellent. Very much worth a trip. Very varied walks with surprising views and the marsh walk had water flowing through.. Kinda spooky for desert. We were there in January and look to return every few months to see how it changes with the season's. End of March - super bloom in full flower. Absolutely gorgeous.
  • This is a great spot for all levels of abilities including wheelchair accessible trail and lots of benches. I have been really sad about not being able to get out to hike and be in nature this spring due to health issues that don’t allow me to stand or walk for long periods of time. The Marsh Trail was perfect for me with many observation benches for me to rest! Honestly I feel very accomplished that I was able to do something I love! So if you love nature and have mobility issues I highly recommend trying this place out! Special thank you to everyone who keeps the preserve the restrooms are very clean and accessible too! No dogs allowed but try calling before regarding your service animal! Don’t forget to bring your picnic lunch! We also saw a lot of wildlife too! We will be back soon I hope!!

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