Travel Blog

Coachella Valley Hiking – McCallum Trail

We were hiking on the San Andreas fault line the other day as part of our Coachella Valley hike on the McCallum trail. This is something I have always wanted to do and I must admit that it was almost anti climatic. We were standing on what is known as the San Andreas fault. There was really nothing to distinguish the difference from any other area around us.

In fact we visited the welcome center in the background of this picture  at the trail head. I asked how close the fault line was. The answer I received surprised me. We were standing on it. The welcome center was built on top of the fault. But back to our hiking excursion. The welcome center is located in the middle of a stand of palms and is in fact made of palm logs, dating back to 1935.

Coachella Valley Hiking – San Andreas Fault Line

The San Andreas fault runs all the way from Mexico for 700 miles up to San Francisco. It then plunges into the ocean. There are many other known fault lines that run into and away from the San Andreas fault. I wonder when this one is going to give us a big shake?

This area is known as Pushwalla. There are about 10 trails to choose from for hiking all of which are pretty easy compared to some that I have been on. You can get a map and information about the trails at the welcome center. The distance and the difficulty of each are displayed on the map. For example this is just one of the areas in the Coachella Valley.

We selected the McCallum trail which is about 2 miles and runs from one oasis to a second one. There is an actual pond in the middle of the desert. In between is hot dry desert which in itself is interesting. How can there be two different well watered oasis with palm trees in the middle of the desert on top of the San Andreas fault line?

The picture above is taken from on top of a small hill about a mile from the oasis. Which you can see in the background of this picture. It is a nice cool moist area. However there was a suspicious gas bubbling up in the middle of the pond. Never did find out what that was. However the water was crystal clear, no algae at all and no plants growing in the pond. The palm trees were all clustered around the pond.

Hiking Trails

The trail starts off on a boardwalk through the ancient palm trees. Then up into the desert grasses and then finally into the desert proper. We walked 2 miles from one oasis to the other. However it did not feel like two miles at all and the walking was not strenuous what so ever. The temperature was about 75 degrees. Although not that hot, we perspired a lot and needed the water we were carrying.

For those of you who may not be into hiking or are afraid that hiking might be too much due to the difficulty this is an excellent one to take on. You can easily do this one without difficulty. However if you do get tired or you find the heat too much, just turn around and head back to the oasis to cool off.  Always take water with you as well.  This was a short hike and I took a full  bottle with me and found I needed all of it for this short hike. Hence always bring water with you for hiking and even a small snack to give you a bit of energy if needed.

We would lie to have your comments about hiking in this area of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley. Please leave well written comments that will be interesting to our readers.

For more posts about hiking, click here.



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