The Thousand Palm Oasis lies in the middle of the Coachella Valley Preserve. Dorie and I did a little Valentine’s Day hike along the San Andreas Fault that runs through this part of the valley. I thought we might get a little excitement hiking the fault, but we did not experience any tremors while on the trail. Among the palms is a nice visitor’s center that was a palm tree log ranch house, which was lived in until 1983. Some old rancher named Louis Wilhelm bought 80 acres here in 1905 for 2 mules and a buckboard wagon. It was later purchased by the Nature Conservancy.
The oasis pond was closed due to a restoration project to re-introduce the near-extinct desert pupfish to the area. Someone introduced some non-native fish that ate all the desert pupfish several years ago.
Our hike started with a small ascent up Squaw Hill, then eastward along the San Andreas Fault to the Pushwalla Palms Oasis. We did discover a valentine message on the ridge that someone had created with rocks. I was going to tell Dorie that I hiked up there earlier and left the message, but I knew she wouldn’t believe me. We did not descend all the way down into the canyon to the Pushwalla grove but instead looped around and through the Horseshoe grove of palms. It was a perfect day for a desert hike. The snow-capped San Jacinto and San Gorgornio Mountains were clear in the distance. Our hike was 4.2 miles. (click on any picture for slide show)