Gold Canyon, Az

Gold Canyon, Az
New Years Day 2015, Gold Canyon, AZ

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Palms to Pines

Tuesday we decided to go for a little drive on the Palms to Pines highway.  Its leaves Palm Desert which is just a few hundred feet above sea level and heads up into the mountains.  If you stay on Hwy 74 it will take you all the way to the Pacific ocean.  We turned off at Mountain Centre and continued on to Idyllwild which is at an elevation of around 6000 ft.  We started to experience snow at around 5000 ft.  We then continued on and headed down the other side of the mountain range to the town of Banning and back through San Gorgonio Pass to the Coachella Valley.  With stops for viewing and lunch at one of the lookouts it took us about 6 hours and was a nice way to spend the day.

Off in the distance you could just make out the Salton Sea. 

Looking back over the Coachella Valley with Palm Springs, Indio,
 Palm Desert, etc. in the foreground

At the top we reached a plateau populated with ranches.
Lots of horses and cattle among the pines

The pines grow some pretty big pine cones. 

Looking up under the branches of a big Pine.
Tip.  Don't lean against the trunk.
You will come away covered in pine sap.

One of the smaller pine cones.  Some were over a foot long. 

The San Gorgonio Pass below with the San Bernardino mountains in the distance. 

This hawk just hung there looking for lunch.
I'm sure it could have stayed there for hours without flapping its wings
 just riding the air currents

The windmills cover the San Gorgonio pass

The drive back down.
I'm ok on the inside but when in the outside lane and all I can see is sky
 my heart beats a little faster, the palms start sweating and I grip the wheel real tight.  

Next up the Palm Springs Arial Tramway and more snow.