Big Morongo Canyon Preserve, Morongo Valley

#8 of 12 in Wildlife in California Desert
Must see · Scenic Drive · Hidden Gem · Wildlife Area
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
123 reviews
  • Peaceful and scenic are the words to describe Big Morongo Canyon Preserve! Located in Morongo Canyon near Joshua Tree National Park and Yucca Valley California,Big Morongo Canyon Preserve offers...  more »
  • I liked this Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. We were hiking and it was fun. It was February. There was a warning: There is a lion at the mountains. We never seen it. The trees here in the winter had.....  more »
  • It's worth a visit if you have time. Obviously in the Summer its HOT. On my visit, the temperature was 105 Deg F. Bring water, hat and sunglases. The breeze and shady spots were perfect to keep me cool. There are several easy boardwalk and dirt trails. There are a few little hills you can hike, and a ridge line as well. There are some seating areas in the lowlands, perfect for bird watching. I didn't do the 10 mile hike, maybe when it's not nearly as hot. I did hike all the little trails and a couple hilltops, it was a nice way to spend a couple hours.
  • Shaded paths or sunny, they are well marked & maintained. Lots of wildlife, some plants are marked. It's a beautiful area with both flat & hill paths, short or long. There is an on site camp host for any assistance you might need & when we were there, maintenance was being done by CCC workers.

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