|Andreas Canyon Pride Rock|
We packed a picnic and set off about 10am on a cloudless day with temps expected to reach about 77F. The Andreas Canyon has a gurgling stream running through it, one of the few, and the mile loop is one hike everyone should do.We set off heading west on the north side with
fantastic rock formations on our right hand and the tightly packed palms along the stream on our left.
The narrow trail climbs with rock steps and winds around the outcrops. I heard the stream all the way up as I stopped round every corner to take photos. I remembered to always turn back to see the views behind me as we would not return this way. It's cool here as the trees provide shade in most places.
I felt I would never reach the turn-around point but, of course I did. Pausing for a rest and looking high above us, I could see houses built into the barren rock of the mountain side.
Cahuilla Indians have lived here for thousands of years, artefacts have been dated to 3,000 years ago but the oral tradition indicates they have been around a lot longer. Andreas Canyon must have been a paradise for them in this barren, inhospitable desert.
|Tops of the palms with the mountains |
behind that I'd just walked beneath
The hike back to the trailhead is totally different on the south bank of the stream. It's high above the canyon floor and there are distant vistas of the mountains that I walked below on the way up. Here we were in full sun all the way down to the car.
Animals that also frequent the canyon include coyotes, deer, bobcats, to name a few. I saw none, but the scat of coyotes. Lots of birds too.
Out came the picnic and we rested under the shade of palm trees listening to the song of the stream flowing past us as we ate with good appetites. I always love a picnic.
I wanted to go to the gift shop to find some American Indian flute music that I love. The shop is at Palm Canyon that lies at the head of the valley, a place I'd also visited many times. It's very different from Andreas Canyon — wider and much longer. One feature of the road in is Split Rock. One car can just squeeze through at a time.
I recommend a day out in the canyons to anyone who can walk on rough terrain. Hiking boots make it easier and safer. Take water with you and a camera. Rangers give interpretive talks and lead hikes.
There is a small concession stand at the parking lot at Palm Canyon but nothing at Andreas. Neither are accessible for people with mobility issues. But the drive is also enjoyable.
IF YOU GO:
- Cost: Adults USD $9.00; seniors and students $7.00; kids (aged 6-12) $5.00; military free.
- Hours: 8am to 5pm (last car in at 4pm)