A river runs through the desert

One of my favorite hiking and photography grounds is Whitewater Preserve near Palm Springs. It is one of the few spots in the desert with water all year round.

Whitewater Preserve is surrounded by the San Gorgonio Wilderness and the Whitewater River runs right through it. I took this photo in November right before the rain fall started. The water was clear blue, just beautiful.

clear blue water of the Whitewater River

Last month I hiked the Canyon View Loop Trail, a 4-mile trail that takes you up the hills with a roughly ~675 feet elevation gain. The trail uses a tiny part of the Pacific Crest Trail, so a fun and easy way to experience the PCT. From the top of the trail you’ll get this marvelous view over the canyon. You can barely see the river snaking through the valley. During periods of very heavy rain though, the river can swell up to cover the basin from mountain wall to mountain wall.

Because of nature, the trail system looks different after every larger rain fall, when the river swells up and finds a new path.

Whitewater River from above

Whitewater Preserve is therefore always fun to go back to and see how nature is always working. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the preserve, parking lot, ranger stranger, and restrooms are currently closed, but the hiking trails can still be accessed from Whitewater Canyon Road. Please practice social distancing while out hiking!

This post was inspired by Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #89: A River Runs Through It.

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