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Visitation: 2,100
Area: 20,000 Acres
Lat: 33.843117
Lon: 116.310475
Nearby Services
Gas-Thousand Palms, 15 MilesFood-Thousand Palms, 15 MilesLodging-Thousand Palms, 15 Miles
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Every Kid in a Park. Initiative that gives every U.S. 4th grader and his or her family free access to 2000+ federally managed lands and waters. Educators can also participate.
Coachella Valley Preserve - Site # 57
The Coachella Valley Preserve system was designed to protect an endemic, threatened animal, the Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard (Uma inornata), found nowhere else in the world.
PremiumPremium - the most significant sites, worth visiting if you have limited time. Premium sites have high wildlife values year-round, staff on site, interpretive programs and/or displays, and well-developed facilities.

Background: Lush fan palm oases border this unusual blowsand desert, a living landscape of dunes and hummocks scupted by wind, water, and time. Sandfields here sustain endagered Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizards, which escape the summer heat or predators by 'swimming' through the sand. The desert landscape camouflages flat-tailed hrned lizards, greater roadrunners, lesser nighthawks, and common poorwhills. Look among mesquites for LeConte's thrashers, Gambel's quail, and nesting black-tailed gnatcatchers and phainopeplas. Chollas hold the flask-shaped nests of cactus werens. A mile-long trail winds among fan palms at the Thousand Palms Oasis, passing pools inhabited by endangered desert pupfish. During spring the palms shelter many spring migratory songbirds and nesting American kestrels. Watch for squirrel burrows at the base of creosote bushers. Sidewinders, black-tailed jackrabiits, and bobcats are also present.
For as long as 600 years, the Cahuilla Nation called the Coachella Valley home. Their life-style remained tranquil, traditional, and productive. It was not uncommon for family clan members to move as a group to a known waterpoint such as Thousand Palms Oasis, there to set up outlying rancherias, here they lived free, productive lives, and happily so, yet still apart of a designated village with its chief.

In 1876 the Southern Pacific Railroad company laid two steel rails down the length of the Coachella Valley. The members of the Cahuilla Nation were placed on various reservations. The United States government had promised the Southern Pacific Railroad Company every other section of land for twelve miles on either side of the railway line at the completion of the railroad project. For the Cahuilla people, life was confined, but not totally so, since seed-gathering, their main source of food, continued. Thus it was that they remained semi-nomadic in search of various seeds and fruits in their season of ripening - until approximately 1915 when established agricultural pursuits by hopeful homesteaders offered employment and a new lifestyle.

The Habitat: The Coachella Valley Preserve system was designed to protect an endemic, threatened animal, the Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard, (Uma inornata). Found nowhere else in the world, this lizard is an indicator for a rich array of organisms
specialized to live on sand dunes, and for many of them, equally restricted and threatened in their distribution. In fact, desert sand dunes harbor one of the most species rich communities found in our southwestern deserts, with many of the dune systems including various unique species found only on those dunes. The Coachella Valley was once dominated by nearly 100 square miles of sand dunes, today there is fewer than 5% of that habitat remaining in viable condition. Over the years, the lure of mild winter temperatures and beautiful scenery has resulted in an explosion of human development. As canyons filled with houses, development pushed into the valley's center, blocking the vital sand movement processes the keep
the dunes alive. Today the majority of the remaining, viable dune habitat is contained in the Coachella Valley Preserve system.

The Experience: The preserve is considered to be the jewel of the Coachella Valley, 20,000 acres of pristine desert with 20 miles of established hiking trails and a Rustic visitor center (built in 1930s).

Wildlife and Where to Find It: Visitor center (760) 343-2733,trails from 5 minutes and easy to 4 hours and moderate.

Viewing Tips: Birds of prey, songbirds, upland birds, and mammals are seen year-round. Songbrid viewing is excellent in spring and fall. Look for reptiles in summer, fish from spring through fall. Equestrian trails.

Site Notes: More than 183 bird species have been recorded here, including Gambel's quail, black-throated sparrows, phainopeplas, black-tailed gnatcatchers and American bitterns. Cactus wrens nest among the chollas. Year-round, visitors can view songbirds, upland birds and birds of prey. Spring and fall are good times to view songbirds. Other animals include black-tailed jackrabbits, bobcats, and sidewinders. Reptiles may be seen in the summer. Spring through fall is the best time to look for fish in the pools.

This area is very hot during the summer - be prepared. The Preserve includes a visitor's center and equestrian trails.

Festivals & Events: Wildflower Festival

Visitor Information: Palms Springs Bureau of Tourism - (760) 778-8418 - http://www.palm-springs.org
Viewing Site Hours of Operation are:
Staff On-site: Yes
Open: Sun,Mon,Tues,Wed,Thur,Fri,Sat
Hours: Sunrise to dusk.
Year Round: Yes
Seasonal: Visitor Center: September, May, and June - open 8:00 am to noon. October through April - 8 am to 4 pm. July and August - closed.

Road Information:   Paved. 
 Roads available year-round.
Road Hazards: None
 Number of Parking Spaces: 100
Parking Fee: No
Proximity to viewing area:100 yards
 Pull-Through Parking: No
Parking Notes: Parking lot and trailheads are fine, not suggested to pull off on shoulders.

How to Get There: From Palm Springs area, take Interstate 10 east 10 miles to the Ramon Road exit and drive east to Thousand Palms Canyon Drive. Turn north and drive 2 miles to entrance.
 

Contact Information
Managing Agency: Bureau of Land Management
Agency Site URL: http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/prog/wildlife/watchable/areas/coachella.html
Physical Address:690 West Garnet Ave
North Palm Springs, CA 92258
Mailing Address:P.O. Box 581260
North Palm Springs, CA 92258
Manager Phone:(760)-343-1234 Contact Us:by Email
Site Phone:(760)-343-1234
County: Riverside
Addition Website: