The preserve is an oasis and transition zone between the Mojave and Sonoran deserts. For centuries it was used by nomadic Indians, who found water and game plentiful here. More than 235 bird species have been observed in the preserve, including several rare species. Many additional transient species are present during the spring and fall migration seasons. Water also attracts desert bighorn sheep, raccoons, bobcats, coyotes, and other mammals. The preserve is listed as a National Watchable Wildlife Site.

The adjoining Covington Park is equipped to handle large groups for picnic and recreation outings. For more information call the Morongo Valley Community Services District at (760) 363-6454. Hours: Open 7:30 AM - Sunset. There are no fees.


Informative Ranger, map, brochures, and a kiosk. Walking tours offered and the preserve is only open for day use.


Restrooms, drinking water, and a parking area are available at the preserve.


From Palm Springs, travel west on Interstate 10 to State Highway 62. Travel north on Highway 62 for 11.5 miles to Morongo Valley. Turn right on East Drive and go a short distance to the Preserve entrance on the left.

Visitor Activities:

Bird watching, nature studies, hiking, and environmental education experiences.

Permits, Fees, Limitations:

No fees or permits are required. No unauthorized vehicles or bicycles are permitted beyond the parking lot. No dogs or other pets are allowed in the preserve. Firearms and hunting are restricted. Smoking is not allowed. Hiking and horseback riding are permitted on designated trails only.


Some portions of the trails are wheelchair-accessible. Please contact the Preserve Manager at the above address for details.

Camping and Lodging

Primitive camping is available at Morongo Valley Park, 5 miles north of Big Morongo on U.S. Highway 62. Camping is free. Developed camping is available at the Black Rock Campground in the Joshua Tree National Park, 20 miles north of Morongo on Highway 62. Picnic facilities, toilets, and detailed trail maps are available at the Preserve.

Food and Supplies

Food and supplies are available in Morongo Valley.

First Aid

No first aid is available on-site. The Avalon Urgent Care Center in Yucca Valley is located 10 miles north on U.S. Highway 62. The nearest hospital is located in Joshua Tree, 20 miles north on U.S. Highway 62.

Critical Information

The Preserve is open daily from 7:30 am to sunset. Winter, fall and spring are the best times of the year to visit this area. The Preserve has a desert climate with hot, dry summers and moderate winters. Rainfall is scarce, and winter and spring nighttime temperatures can be cool.

Mailing Address:

Big Morongo Canyon Preserve
P.O. Box 780
Morongo Valley, CA 92256

(760) 363-7190
(760) 363-1180-fax


The site is located 15 miles north of Palm Springs, California.