This morning we drove to Coachella Valley Preserve, just east of Joshua Treel and learned a little bit about the preserve’s history, then hiked out on McCallum trail to see the clusters of Desert Fan Palms oasis. This is one of the largest Fan Palms groves in California. These trees are unique in how they grow, and some are 150 years old.
On our way out from the trail we happened upon a Botta Pocket Gopher protecting his hole. This was a first sighting for us, and he was fun to watch. We also saw Banded Rock and Sage Brush lizards and a few birds.
From there we drove to Lake Elsinore to see the poppy super-bloom. We drove out to the location for the poppy viewing and got caught up in the tangle of traffic on the highway all there for the same thing. The canyon road that sits next to the highway was parked up along both sides. This told us that we needed to get a very early start the next day.
We stayed at a hotel this night because we couldn’t find any campsites, and now we understood why. We walked to a Del Taco in town for dinner, then called it a night.