U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Big Morongo Canyon Preserve
Site 193 in the California Wildlife Viewing Guide
Nestled among the Little San Bernardino Mountains, the desert oasis at Big Morongo Canyon is one of the 10 largest cottonwood and willow riparian (stream) habitats in California. The upstream end of the canyon lies in the Mojave Desert, while its downstream portion opens into the Colorado Desert.
Because of the fault line running along the base of the mountains, water draining from the Morongo Basin surfaces at their base. This water flows above ground as Big Morongo Creek, then disappears into sandy soil further downstream. The result is a three-mile stretch of rich stream and marsh habitat lying between rugged canyon walls.
The Bureau of Land Management designated Big Morongo Canyon as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern in recognition of its special values. The land is managed by the BLM to protect rare and endangered wildlife, enhance sensitive riparian areas, promote the growth of a wide variety of plants, provide for scientific research, and offer educational opportunities.
Animals you may see here
Viewing tips for this area
How to get here
From Interstate 10 northwest of Palm Springs, take Highway 62, the "Twentynine Palms Highway." About 10.5 miles north on Highway 62, turn right on East Drive. After about 200 yards, turn left into the Big Morongo Canyon Wildlife Preserve.
Size: About 31,000 acres.
Managed by: Bureau of Land Management, Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office. The Bureau of Land Management provides an on-site steward and docents to lead public tours. The area also includes 120 acres of riparian habitat owned by San Bernardino County that is maintained as the Big Morongo Canyon Wildlife Preserve and managed as part of the ACEC.
Site 193 in the California Wildlife Viewing Guide.