It’s that time of year again, when LA residents head to the deserts of the southwestern United States. They go to get a reprieve from winter and soak up the warmth. This time of year is also the beginning of the festival season that will lure even more people to the deserts. Here are some photos of just a few of the must-see things you have to check out on your next trip out to the deserts around Palm Springs (you know, that trip you started planning on Sunday when you realized you didn’t want to get ready for the work week).
The Living Desert was established in 1970 to preserve the natural ecosystem of the Coachella Valley. Since then, their ever-expanding conservation efforts have made this gem of the desert much more. They have educational programs, reintroduction and recovery programs, and field research and ecological restoration. This Zoo is unlike anything you have ever visited. Its natural environment, walking trails, and large enclosures feel like you are embarking on an African safari. I mean, look how close you get to cheetahs!
One of the highlights of our most recent visit was having a chance to feed giraffes. This was one of the coolest things we have ever done. On the edge of a large open giraffe enclosure, there is an elevated feed deck that puts you eye-to-eye with these majestic animals. The encounter only costs $5.00 for a handful of carrots! It is a MUST do. If you’re interested in even more contact with wildlife, check out the camel rides.
A few weeks after our first trip to the desert, we went back to check out the super bloom at the Whitewater Preserve. We heard that Anza Borrego had some pretty amazing blooms around the same time (let’s be honest, you are probably one of the thousands of people who went to see this amazing park) and hoped to encounter the same thing near Palm Springs. Whitewater Preserve did not disappoint!
The preserve is on almost 3,000 acres and is surrounded by the San Gorgonio Wilderness. When we visited, there was a beautiful bloom and the weather was perfect. There is a whitewater stream that runs though the valley year round, which is fascinating considering it’s in the middle of the desert. You can hike around and through the hills on many different trails or hang out by the streams and tributaries. It’s very easy to get to, only a few miles off the 10 Freeway. I highly recommend a visit. We hope to get back there soon before it gets too hot.