Field Trips

Field Trips

Exploring Sand to Snow National Monument

Lace up your hiking shoes, grab your camera and join the Friends of Big Morongo Canyon Preserve, the Mojave Desert Land Trust and the Wildlands Conservancy for a morning tour of one of the most biodiverse areas in southern California: Sand to Snow National Monument. This 154,000-acre monument, co-managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service, extends from the Sonoran desert floor up to over 10,000 feet in the San Gorgonio Wilderness in San Bernardino National Forest.

You’ll learn about the joint efforts of land management agencies and nonprofits helping to steward and build awareness about this monument’s critical wildlife corridors, rich biological diversity, and recreational opportunities as we explore two different preserves within the monument.


The Big Morongo Canyon Preserve will be the first stop, which features a natural spring-fed desert oasis and is one of the 10 largest Cottonwood and Willow riparian habitats in California. It is an internationally recognized birding site with over 250 species recorded in the preserve, including the resident Vermillion Flycatcher. Be sure to bring your binoculars (and we’ll have a few on hand for folks to borrow and share, as well).

Next, we’ll head to the Wildlands Conservancy’s Whitewater Preserve. This 2,211 acre preserve is surrounded by the Sand to Snow National Monument and includes the year-round Whitewater River that has transformed over the past ten years from black water cattle wallows to crystal clear waters. The canyon has a robust population of bighorn sheep, deer and bear, and is an important wildlife corridor between the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains. Here, you’ll enjoy a short hike and maybe even spot some wildlife.

Don’t miss this opportunity to experience first-hand the ecological and cultural treasure of Sand to Snow National Monument.

Date and Time: Sunday, February 25, 2018, 8:30am - 12pm

Price: $50 / person

Where the Streets Have No Name: A Journey to Joshua Tree National Park

As stated by the NPS, “two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together in Joshua Tree National Park - a fascinating variety of plants and animals make their homes in a land sculpted by strong winds and occasional torrents of rain. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history and surreal geologic features add to the wonder of this vast wilderness in southern California.”

Join PLA and the Joshua Tree National Park Association as we explore the richness of the diverse landscapes - rugged rock formations and stark desert landscapes, peppered by the omnipresent Joshua Tree, the “twisted, spiky trees straight out of a Dr. Seuss book” (NPS). You’ll marvel at the odd panoramic beauty of the park, as well as the history and culture, of one of the most frequently-visited sites in the national park system.

Date and Time: Thursday, March 1, 2018, 9am - 5:30pm

Price: $125 / person

Price includes lunch, transportation, educational session conducted by the Joshua Tree Desert Institute Program and a tour of the park.