Whitewater | Coachella Preserve | Joshua Tree Park
Banning is located at the "edge of the desert" so there are plenty of desert attractions and towns close by. Listed are just a few of the our favorite places off of highway 10 and less than an hour away. You can find more desert attractions on the Palm Springs Page
Whitewater Canyon / Preserve
Whitewater Canyon is located less than 10 miles east on Highway 10. The Whitewater Trout Farm's historic building has been transformed into a visitor facility and ranger station. Other facilities include individual and group picnic areas and campgrounds that are overshadowed by steep vertical cliffs where bighorn sheep are often spotted. There is a trail head leading to the Pacific Crest Trail and other hiking paths. In spring the canyon fills with vibrant wildflowers along the foothills.
The Coachella Valley Preserve is great. The McCallam trail, 2.02 miles round trip is well marked and begins in a palm oasis with water in a marsh area. There are bridges to walk on and view the huge palms. The Preserve has trimmed some of the palms so you can see the inside of the palms and understand how the palms grow. At the end of the trail is a large pond in the middle of the desert.
Two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together in Joshua Tree National Park. A fascinating variety of plants and animals make their homes in a land sculpted by strong winds and occasional torrents of rain. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features add to the wonder of this vast wilderness in southern California.