Thursday, 23 March 2017 20:46

Wildlife at the Coachella Valley Desert Preserve

Written by Jeff Shotwell
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There is so much to do in the city of Palm Springs, it might be easy to forget that the Coachella Valley Desert is right nearby.  Be sure to plan at least a day to explore the wilder side of the Coachella Valley Desert.  Where do you go to see the wildlife in the desert, and what will you see?

Coachella Valley Preserve

The Coachella Valley Preserve-Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve affords visitors myriad hiking trails with the chance to view lots of wildlife.  You can picnic, walk, and visit the rustic visitor's center, called "The Palm House".

There are many guided hikes you can take while at Coachella Valley Preserve, and any of them are sure to inspire you to see nature in a way you never have before.  From guided bird walks to exploring the ecology of a fault line, there is a lot to see.

What You Can Find There

  • Reptiles -There are many reptiles, but make sure you give them a wide berth if you see them!  Some are endangered, and some may pose a danger.  Either way, keep a respectful distance.  You can find Leopard Lizards, Sidewinder snakes, Side-Blotched Lizards, Zebra-Tailed Lizards, and the endangered Coachella Valley Fringe-Toed Lizards.
  • Mammals - A few of the mammals you may be able to spot on the trails are Desert Pocket Mice, Pocket Gophers, Antelope Ground Squirrels (which look like squirrels, not antelope!), and the more elusive coyotes.
  • Birds - There are many birds that you can see, especially if you go on a birding guided walk, or go out in the early morning.  Birds that have been spotted are the Kestral, Phainopepla, Great Horned Owl, and Black-Throated Sparrow.

The Coachella Valley Desert offers so much wildlife you may need to go back several days while you are in the area!  Go for a hike, have a picnic, but be sure to enjoy seeing the wildlife of the Coachella Valley Desert Preserve.


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