Parking Lot

No large vehicles are allowed into the parking lot at any time. 

The Preserve parking lot cannot accommodate large vehicles – for entry, parking or turning around. Please do not use the entrance to the lot as a turn-around. This restriction applies to all vehicles larger than 20-feet – including buses, 5th Wheelers, semi-trailers, trucks, vans or recreational vehicles of any size.


The preserve parking lot is limited in size. Please consider carpooling.


For your safety we do not recommend that you park on the side of the road.

There is a small trailhead for Pushawalla about 1/8 mile (0.2 km) south of the Preserve parking lot. This is our only overflow parking. 



There is no access after hours. Please plan your visit to be gone by the time the gates close.

The trails to Willis Palms, Pushawalla, Hidden Palms, Indian Palms and Horseshoe Palms can always be accessed via the trailheads on Thousand Palms Canyon Road and Ramon Road. These trails are accessible after hours.

The McCallum Trail, Moon Country and Herman’s Hike are closed after hours. The parking lot,  and the two oases – Thousand Palms and McCallum – are closed after hours. PLEASE DO NOT PARK ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD AND WALK IN.



Please don’t:

  • Light campfires or light up a cigarette.
  • Collect anything including rocks, flowers or plants.
  • Stray off marked trails … open desert hiking is not allowed.
  • Bring your mountain bike or any other vehicle, motorized or not.
  • Leave anything behind, including abandoned pets or geocaches.
  • Swim or wade in any of the ponds or creeks.
  • Walk up onto any of the sand dunes – the Vista Point/Moon Country trail skirts the sand dunes so try that trail instead.

Please do:

  • Enjoy a picnic on one or our picnic tables under the palms, at the Tamarisk Grove along McCallum/Moon Country Trail or on the benches up at McCallum Grove. There is also a picnic table at Pushwalla.
  • Hike on one of our many hiking trails.
  • Collect photographs of our scenery, plants and wildlife.
  • Visit our Visitor’s Center.
  • Enjoy an after-hours hike on Pushwalla, Hidden Palms, Indian Palms or Willis. 
  • Enjoy birdwatching
  • Check out our geology and look for fault features of the San Andreas Fault
  • Look (but don’t touch) for a variety of reptiles and mammals


Pets and Service Animals

This is a wildlife area, not a park. 

Please help us protect our native wildlife.

No pets of any kind are allowed. 

This includes therapy or comfort animals. No pet birds, cats, dogs, lizards, snakes or any other kind of animals are allowed.

Trained service dogs are permitted. 

Please keep your dog  close to you at all times. Do not allow it to dig, chase the Preserve animals or otherwise cause damage to the Preserve. Please clean up after your service dog. We do not provide clean-up bags, so please bring your own.


Visitors’ Center

We try to stay open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. from October 1 through April 30. Please be patient…we are dependent on the availability of volunteer staff.  Please call ahead to confirm that we are open: 760-343-2733 or 760-343-1234.



We rely on your donations to cover the costs of keeping up the Visitors’ Center, the bathrooms, the parking lot and 28 miles of trails. Your generosity helps to keep the Preserve open to the public.