Sunday, December 24, 2006

Coachella Valley to San Jacinto Mountain in a Day

Yesterday Pete and I drove out to the Palm Desert area where we started on the desert floor in the morning, and ended the day up 10,834 feet at the top of San Jacinto. This is one of my absolute favorite day trips to take. Pete and I started in the desert at a sunny 75 degrees at the Living Desert Zoo and Botanical Gardens, a really cool spot where they spotlight native plants and animals of the deserts. The best feature in my opinion is the wildlife hospital, where people can actually watch surgeries and check-ups being performed on the zoo's inhabitants. What a great educational experience!

From there we drove to the Arial Tramway were we were carried up the side of the mountains to the top where it was closer to 30 degrees with an inch of snow to play in. From the upper observation deck you can see the top end of the Salton Sea! Pete and I took a short hike, we got there pretty late and the daylight was fading, but we heard chickadees, nuthatches, ravens and stellar's jays as they were settling down for the night. I want to go back sometime next week and just spend the entire day hiking around San Jacinto, it's just such a wonderful park.

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