Palms to Pines Scenic Byway

This scenic driving tour climbs from the desert through the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains, before descending again to the desert. The route passes through a series of areas preserved for animal habitat, ranging from desert oasis to snow-capped mountains, and parts of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument and San Bernardino National Forest. Drivers can pull off the winding and often steep road at a number of pulloffs or lookout points, each with habitat ranging from forested mountainsides with pine, oak and fir, to a reservoir, to arid brush- and cactus-covered stretches -- not to mention sweeping views of mountains and valleys.

Adventure is at Your Fingertips


A good place to begin a tour of the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway is at the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center. There you can find information about scenic overlooks, picnic areas, campgrounds, and recreation opportunities. It is also a good opportunity to pick up a National Monument Bird Checklist or other reference, stop to use public restrooms or ask questions of the staff. Gasoline can be found in Palm Desert, Banning, Mountain Center, and Idyllwild while exploring the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway.

The Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Visitor Center is surrounded by a lush native plant garden. A bighorn sheep statue, "Spikehorn" by Richard Myers, is visible in the foreground. Photo by Dan Kasang, BLM.Address:

51-500 Highway 74
Palm Desert, CA 92260

Located on Highway 74 at the National Monument boundary, the Visitor Center is located approximately 4 miles south of the Highway 111 intersection in Palm Desert. Monument staff are available to discuss recreation opportunities, natural resources and other pertinent questions. Interpretive displays, documentary movies, public restrooms, a water fountain, and air conditioning are available for all visitors. Reference books, maps, and other relevant materials are available for purchase.

Hours of Operation:

Open Thursday though Monday

8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day
Closes at 2:00p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve

On-Site Attractions:

The Ed Hastey Garden Trail, a 0.2 mile trail, goes around the Visitor Center building. This accessible trail is a great introduction to the common desert plants, reptiles, birds, mammals, and insects that can be seen at the lower elevations of the National Monument. A map and brochure with more information about desert plants is available inside the Visitor Center. Leashed dogs are allowed on this trail.

Agents of Discovery is an opportunity to explore the Ed Hastey Garden Trail as a secret agent. Augmented reality (AR) app provides "Challenges" to follow on a cell phone or tablet for a progressive way of outdoor discovery. Download the free app Agents of Discovery from Google Play or the App Store before arrival to the Visitor Center and begin a leading-edge experience in the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. 

The Randall Henderson Trail, a 2.5 mile loop trail, begins/ends in the southern parking lot of the Visitor Center campus. The trail is made of multiple loops, so the trail can also be hiked as a 1.75 mile loop or simply a 1 mile loop. A map and interpretive brochure, that corresponds with 18 numbered posts on the trail, is available inside the Visitor Center. Note: Dogs are prohibited on the Randall Henderson Trail and adjacent un-improved public lands. Along the trail there are also signs that indicate private property boundaries and trail closures. Disregarding any of the posted signs or prohibitions mentioned above may result in law enforcement action against you.

The Friends of the Desert Mountains have their administrative offices and volunteer center located on the Visitor Center campus. Please follow signs to the Visitor Center for public information and restrooms.

Geographic Coordinates

33.67222, -116.408402


From Palm Springs, take Highway 111 east to Palm Desert, then Highway 74 west climbing into the Santa Rosa Mountain. At Mountain Center, take Highway 243 north to Banning and Interstate 10.