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Big Morongo Canyon Preserve

Big Morongo Canyon Preserve is a 31,000-acre nature preserve in the Little San Bernadino Mountains in San Bernadino and Riverside Counties.  The preserve is located where the Mohave Desert meets the Sonoran Desert and is home to an exceptional diversity of wildlife and has been recognized as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern.  The preserve was created in 1982 and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management with assistance from the non-profit Friends of Big Morongo Canyon Preserve.  The preserve is free and open to the public during daylight hours and has several miles of hiking trails through the marshlands and canyon.  There is no camping in the preserve and pets and smoking are prohibited.

Contact Information:

Bureau of Land Management, Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office
Big Morongo Preserve
1201 Bird Center Drive
Morongo Valley, CA 92256, CA 92256

Phone: (760) 363-7190

GPS: 34.05158, -116.57006


The preserve is located northwest of Palm Springs.  From Palm Springs, take I-10 west for about 6 miles to exit 117.  Turn right on CA-62 east/Twenty-Nine Palms Highway and go 10.4 miles.  Turn right on East Drive and turn left on Covington Drive in less than a quarter-mile.  The parking area is on the right.



The interface between the Mohave and Sonoran deserts at Big Morongo Canyon supports a great diversity of wildlife.  Yucca are common in the desert environment and produce flowers on a tall stem; this one was taller than me!

California fan palm (Washingtonia filifera)

Desert pincushion (Chaenactis fremontii)

Desert trumpet (Eriogonum inflatum) has an inflated stem, the function of which is not entirely understood.

Desert dandelion (Malacothrix glabrata)

Bladderpot spiderflower (Peritoma arborea) blooms with bright yellow flowers all year long.

Desert globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua)

Woolly Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja foliolosa)

I'm not sure what these are.

Caterpillar of a white-lined sphinx (Hyles lineata)

Blog Entries:

15-Apr-2019: Desert Blooms

External Links:

Friends of Big Morongo Canyon Preserve website: https://www.bigmorongo.org/