We’re always on the lookout for fun things to do as a family. While staying in SoCal, Dawn found that the San Andreas fault runs through Thousand Palms, creating a desert oasis complete with hiking trails.
We took a day trip to see it for ourselves. We got there and asked the kids for their ideas about how this particular oasis could form in the middle of the desert. Kinsey said she thought there was underground water and that the palm trees had been planted there. Hayley thought the palm seeds may have been brought there by floodwaters and that they somehow water the palms. Even though it was hot in the sun, it was much cooler in the palm grove.
After exploring the main grove for a while, we headed up to Squaw Hill to get a view from higher up and to let the kids work out how the oasis is supplied with water. With a little help from Dawn, Connor connected the trip with his recent lessons on tectonic plate movement and then quickly asked if we were on the side of the fault line that would fall into the ocean 😂 😂 😂! Hayley entertained us with her thoughts on the hike up the side of Squaw Hill and then shared her love of rocks.
After that, we took a little longer hike (0.5 miles each way) to the North Palm Grove across the road from the main entrance. Everyone enjoyed the desert air, and we stopped for snacks in the shade of a smaller grove on the hike.
We had a great afternoon at the Coachella Valley Preserve and hope to go back so we can explore the other trails (several of the trails were closed due to impact from recent heavy rains). If you’re visiting Palm Springs, Palm Desert, or just passing through on I-10, it’s a pretty easy spot to stop for an hour or two to see some beautiful trees and to experience the wonder of an oasis formed on a fault line in the middle of the desert.