Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Palm Springs Day 5 Herman's Peak Coachella Valley

I picked Herman's Peak to hike today because it is located in a preserve and oh how I like those.  By visiting the Coachella Valley Preserve, I would have the opportunity to pass through an oasis and over a wash before climbing switchbacks to reach a peak.  This day would have it all!

I stopped in at the Visitor Center to ask a few questions as the Herman's Peak trail is fairly new and there is no signage yet.  This was the cutest Visitor Center I have ever seen and the inside was just as adorable.  It was totally surrounded by gigantic palm trees.
After chatting with the volunteer, making a donation and obtaining a map, I hit the McCallum Trail.  This was the beginning of the boardwalk that carried on for a few minutes.....
                                         
                                 .....before leading out to the wide open desert oasis.  
Just beyond McCallum Grove is McCallum Pond.  How lucky for me, I got to see a reflection.  Reflections are scarce here in the desert.  Some folks make this their destination.
I carried on further to the Moon Country Trail and to Vista Point.  It was still early yet time to delayer before carrying on.  At this point there is a 360 degree view, not a cloud in the sky and I could see forever.  I prefer a few of those white puffy fluffy clouds, they make for nicer photos but hey, I will take this.
                                                          seeing far off forever....
                                    
......and seeing up close.  There was lots of desert sand hiking today and on other days.  I am not use to this, it takes work and my legs feel it.  
                                        
                Further along the Moon Country Trail, I could tell why they picked that title.  
                        Then, there are those snow capped peaks showing up again.  
I hiked a short distance into the Moon Country Canyon then retraced my steps to cross the wash and attack the switchbacks up to Herman's Peak.  The Peak is a way over and up there somewhere.  I eyed the bottom section of switchbacks and aimed for that direction.  There was no sign pointing where to go.
I crossed the wash, found the switchback start and went for it.  They were gradual long switches which made for a rather easy ascent.  The higher I got, the more amazing the views.  
                                           my summit shot on Herman's Peak
The summit was a very large wide flat area.  There were a couple of areas of large flat boulders to sit on and enjoy the scenery.  I had my choice of boulders as I owned this Peak.  
                                   view from my boulder while I had lunch
After some summit time, I headed back to the switchbacks to descend off Herman's Peak the way I came.  There is the option to descend off in the other direction and make a loop but with no signage yet and being a fairly new trail, I decided to play it conservative and go with what I know already.  I arrived back down at the wash and followed it all the way back to the intersection for the Visitor Center.
                          This was the last portion of the trail that lead to the parking lot.
                                          
It's so enjoyable and rewarding to experience new to me trails and the variety of terrain they offer up.  With not knowing what is around the corner, or behind the palm trees, I have been going in with eyes wide open and child-like wonderment. Thank you for today, it was an unexpected gift!




2 comments:

  1. ' I would have the opportunity to pass through an oasis and over a wash before climbing switchbacks to reach a
    peak.' I wonder how many people would understand this sentence in isolation.? It certainly took you to mighty views.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love those views to the distant mountains. Looks like you're enjoying your trip.

    ReplyDelete

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