The Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve, which sits in the Whitewater River Watershed, is a wonderful spot to catch a new sight of how beautiful spring can be. The popular McCallum trail is alive with spring wildflowers, native desert fan palms, and rare bird species.
The McCallum trail is only two miles round-trip, so it is perfect for families and those that want a laid-back desert hike. The hike will lead you through a lush grove of native desert fan palms to the McCallum pond, which was created from underground springs and seismic activity along the San Andreas Fault. The pond is abundant with fascinating wildlife like the desert pupfish so be sure to keep a look out. This mineral-rich water made for the perfect environment to allow the desert fan palms to flourish. These trees are native to the Southwestern United States and can be up to 250 years old.
The palms also give shelter to a variety of desert birds. Look carefully at the skirts of the trees and up in the base of the palms for all sorts of feathered friends including doves, roadrunners, red-tailed hawks, and even great horned owls. For an interactive hike that the whole family will enjoy, try printing out a list of birds that have been spotted at the preserve and checking off the ones you see.
Another great option for enjoying the Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve is taking one of the many guided hikes that the visitor center offers. During this time of year, the best hikes would be the desert bird walk or the wildflower walk, so get your camera ready to get an Instagram worthy shot of the flora and fauna.
Don’t forget to bring your family and friends with you because birds of a feather, stick together.