Went for a little hike today in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. This trail begins at La Quinta Cove Oasis, a pretty palm filled picnic area near town. There are several trails leading out from there, and the map at the trailhead showed this to be a 2.4 mile hike to another palm oasis in the mountains.
It started off flat walking through a wash, then turned up the mountainside and was a gradual climb all the way. We had some lovely views of the area, including the San Jacinto snow covered peaks, the Salton Sea, and an agricultural area to the east. We were surprised to see the ocatillo cactus already blooming.
As it turned out, the sign was not correct, and we hiked for two solid hours with no palm oasis in sight. Kept thinking it would be right over the next ridge, but we were just too tired to go on. Found out that it is really a 4.75 mile hike to the end, so I’m not sure how close we came but I bet we walked 3-4 miles before we finally gave up and turned around. The parking area was a welcome sight and we were starving when we finished.
Stopped at Chipotle Mexican Grill on the way home and had a wonderful veggie burrito. Will try to do better research before the next hike!
Just a couple more pictures of the manicured golf course subdivisions in the area, quite a contrast to the stark brown desert scenery. And the beautiful sky last night. This looks like a great area to live, at least during the winter.