The Cross in Palm Desert mid March. I know, it’s April already but hey, at least I post something 😚
It was so windy (15ish mph) at 6:30am with temperature around 48°F. Almost two years since the last time I hiked this trail. I sat there at the top for like 15 minutes waiting for the sun to rise. It was so cold but worth it 🤩
This year reminds me of when I first came to the U.S. It was Dec 2007 in Southern California and it was raining every week. Then came the drought for a whole 9 years. Then this winter it was raining every other day even in the Coachella Valley. Flash floods and closed roads everywhere.
Enough with the rain, anyway, wildflowers and butterflies come after earth soaked up all of that water.
Those spectacular views are from the two sides of I-10 near Desert Hot Springs, Ca.
I wanted to go to Lake Elsinore near Corona to see the orange poppies last week but because of so many visitors coming, parking there became scary. The city expected 10000 to 20000 visitors but they got like 50000 instead. The city even closed off the street leading to Walker Canyon to see the poppies. Maybe I’ll go this weekend or the next because who knows when there will be another super bloom like this. Maybe in another 12 or 15 years.
This is from my trip to Viet Nam on February. Da Nang is a coastal city that has been developed so fast in the last decade. This tourist-must-go city is so beautiful at night, especially around Han river. The 5 star hotels near the beaches are spectacular too.
I was going to hike Mt Rubidoux yesterday to get a view of Riverside city and parts of Inland Empire, but I changed my mind at the last minute and decided to hike Box Springs Mountain Park instead.
There’s two ways to get to Box Springs Reserve Park. You can drive up Box Springs Mountain Rd (there’s parkings along the side of the park) or hike the Two Tree’s Trail. Once you get to the park, it then branches into two main trails:
The left one leads to the big M with beautiful panorama of Moreno Valley, Pigeon Pass Valley, Hidden Springs and Riverside.
The right one leads to the big C with the complete view of UC Riverside and Downtown Riverside. You can also get to the big C by hiking the Big C Trail at Mt Vernon Ave. This trail (starts at Mt Vernon Ave) is very steep. It’s a little over 1 mile with a gain of 997 ft in elevation.
I started off at 430 Two Trees Rd and took the Two Tree’s Trail. This is a steep trail with a gain of 971 ft over 1.3 miles (a little bit easier than the Big C Trail). Bring lots of water if you’re hiking in the afternoon. I started at 10a.m. and didn’t wear any hat or cap, only a t-shirt and short, so today i’m still suffering from sunburns all over my face, my neck and my arms. It sucked, I know 😦
The trail starts off very nice…
Five minutes in and you can enjoy some nice view already:
There’s a warning sign of mountain lion and rattlesnakes on the trail so be a little careful when you hike alone. I didn’t see any wildlife except lizards on my way up but I ran into two very colorful rattlesnakes (they’re poisonous btw) on the way down and almost sprained my right ankle trying to avoid them. The trail was lightly trafficked. I only met two hikers on the way.
Took me almost one hour to finish the trail, including photographing and break times (mostly photographing time cause I love taking pictures). I take pics whenever I see beautiful landscapes, to the point I had fights with my family members on many vacation trips cause I kept taking pictures and wouldn’t go when they wanted to leave for other places. Anyway, the view at the top of the trail was worth it:
Now that was only one third of the way to the top of the mountain. As I said above, there are two main trails from here. I continued on and took the left one. The big M, wait for me!
Wildflowers were still blooming along the road:
About two thirds of the way, you can see Sycamore Highlands on the right corner and part of freeway 60 and 215 South in the middle:
A few minutes later I reached the top:
The big M is at the right corner but I didn’t know at the time. I thought there was nothing behind the tower so after taking some more photos at the top I came down. I MISSED IT!!!! I only became aware of it when I was writing this post today. Poor me!
More view of the 215 South, 60 West and part of Riverside (on the right corner):
Before going down, I saw this guy:
I don’t know about kettlebell much but that must weigh a lot from how big it look. And that was at the top. Serious leg strength here. I better not skipping leg days anymore. Anyhow, one last view of Moreno Valley with clearer sky on the way down:
Next time I’m gonna try the Big C Trail before the summer kicks in. I definitely don’t like the heat 😦
Located about 14 miles north east of Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, the Whitewater Preserve is a perfect getaway from the southern California desert heat. At Coachella Valley, the sun is brutal all the time except for winter. Last summer it got up to 122ºF in Palm Springs.
Take exit 114 off the I-10, head north on Whitewater Canyon Dr and one can enjoy the stunning view of wildflowers blooming along the dusty winding road.
Even though it’s already April but there’s still snow on Mt San Jacinto.
The surrounding area is windy all year round so you can also see a lot of windmills.
Just as the road’s name suggest, the view of the canyons is spectacular:
At the end of the road, roll down your car window to enjoy the refreshing air because there’s a river right there. Yes you heard it right, there is a small river flowing year round in the middle of the desert.
Going into the preserve, the first thing that get my attention after parking my car (there’s a lot of parking spaces in the back even though the sign at the entrance says otherwise) is the pond. Lot of ponds.
They have fishes too. The water in the ponds looks ultra mega clear.
After taking a walk around, this strange hut caught my attention:
There are many areas with plenty of shade in case you got tired and wanna sit down. There’s even a picnic area with tables and chairs for families too.
For those that wanna get adventurous, there are a few trails in the preserve to satisfy your hunger for hiking but be careful. There’s a sign that warns visitors of snakes and mountain lions. And the sun is brutal too.
On my way out I saw a large group of children, probably elementary students, jumping around and playing in one of the shallow ponds. Look like a fun place for families with small kids.
P/s: Just right after entering the freeway, I saw a rest area with stunning view of the San Jacinto.
P/s 2: The preserve opens daily from 8a.m. to 5p.m.