Dos Palmas Preserve

Quick Facts

Dos Palmas Preserve

California

(760) 833-7100

Map Directions

Things To Do

   

Overview

This oasis with its hundreds of swaying fan palms offers sanctuary in the midst of the dry Colorado Desert. Pools fed by artesian springs and seepage from the nearby Coachella Canal form a lush wetland area. The exceptional habitat shelters a variety of both threatened or endangered and more common animal species. In thick stands of cattails, the elusive and endangered Yuma clapper rail builds its nest, while in the warm waters of the pools swims the desert pupfish, a relic species from the Pleistocene era. The preserve is also home to the endangered orocopia sage plant.

Enjoy birdwatching and wildlife viewing during your visit. Bird The California black rail (listed by the state as threatened) makes its home here, hiding among the cattails and bulrush. Other residents include the leaf-nosed bat and prairie falcons. The water also attracts American avocets, least bitterns, black-necked stilts, snowy egrets, osprey, lesser scaup, and buffleheads. Prairie falcons, northern harriers and loggerhead shrikes take to the air of the surrounding desert. Other animals include the unique flat-tailed horned lizard and other reptiles. Desert pupfish may be seen in the ponds. Colorado Valley wood rats also find a home here. The 1,400-acre Dos Palmas Preserve is at the heart of the 20,000-acre Salt Creek Area of Critical Environmental Concern, created to protect important biological resources. The BLM has worked with partners such as The Nature Conservancy and California Department of Fish and Game to acquire and manage this sensitive habitat, and with Ducks Unlimited to design wetland restoration projects.

Map of Dos Palmas Preserve

Latitude, Longitude: 33.499892, -115.853062

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Activities

  • Bird Watching

    The California black rail (listed by the state as Threatened) makes its home here, hiding among the cattails and bulrush. Other residents include the leaf-nosed bat and prairie falcons. The water also attracts American avocets, least bitterns, black-necked stilts, snowy egrets, osprey, lesser scaup, and buffleheads. Prairie falcons, northern harriers and loggerhead shrikes take to the air of the surrounding desert.

  • Wildlife Watching

    Other animals include the unique flat-tailed horned lizard and other reptiles. Desert pupfish may be seen in the ponds. Colorado Valley woodrats also find a home here.

Directions

Driving

From Interstate 10 at Indio, take the Dillon Road offramp and turn south. At the first stoplight, just over the railroad tracks, turn left (southeast) onto Highway 111 for about 25 miles. Along the way: stay on Highway 111 at its junction with Highway 86, by taking the left fork (toward Nyland). Proceed on Highway 111 through the towns of Coachella, Theral and Mecca, to the Salton Sea. About 10 miles southeast of Mecca, look for the Park Headquarters for the Salton Sea State Recreation Area on your right. Opposite park headquarters: turn left onto Parkside Drive. Take Parkside to the end (about 2 miles) and turn right onto Desert Aire. Follow Desert Aire to its end, then turn left onto the unnamed dirt road. Take the next left fork and stay on the dirt road to Rancho Dos Palmas.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(760) 833-7100

Links