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Enchanting Hidden Gem for Autumn Foliage in the Golden Fantasy Forest near LA‼️

Translation: Enchanting Hidden Gem for Autumn Foliage in the Golden Fantasy Forest near LA‼️

Traveling is always filled with unexpected surprises. On the way back from Palm Springs to LA, we stumbled upon a golden forest surrounded by rocky mountains. So we decided to take a detour and accidentally found ourselves in this golden oasis in the desert.

🌳Big Morongo Canyon Riparian Forest depends on a marshy creek that runs through the canyon. The main vegetation consists of cottonwood, willow, oak, and legume shrubs. It is located in the San Bernardino Mountains and covers 31,000 acres of native plant habitat and wildlife sanctuary. The elevation ranges from 600 feet at the bottom of the canyon to 3,000 feet at the top of the ridge. This diverse landscape has been an important part of the natural and cultural history of the Morongo Basin for nearly 2 billion years.

🌳At the entrance, a friendly volunteer grandma explained the map to us and gave the kids pencils and a special Morongobingo game. The grandma said that if we could connect the corresponding animals or scenery in the picture, we could bring them to her and get a small sticker. This instantly sparked the kids' enthusiasm. Details that are usually overlooked by them were magnified in the chart, and they were keen on observing and searching. It was a liberating experience for the parents.

🌳While the kids were busy searching, the adults could fully enjoy this desert oasis. The golden cottonwood tree-lined entrance was already stunning, and the park offers various hiking trails that lead to different scenic spots. The entire hiking process takes you on a boardwalk where you can overlook the entire preserve, a wooden path lined with golden cottonwood trees and shrubs, and an arched cave surrounded by tree branches and thorns. Every scene is beautiful and something you can hardly find in LA.

🌳The park is very off the beaten path, and there are few visitors. The process of completing the bingo game made the kids feel accomplished, which was an unexpected highlight of our desert trip. The park is not far from Joshua Tree and Palm Springs, and it is also close to the western town of Pioneertown mentioned in the previous recommendation. Come here to enjoy the breathtaking desert landscape.

📍Big Morongo Canyon Preserve
11055 East Dr, Morongo Valley, CA 92256

⏰ Mon-Sun 7:30 am - 5:00 pm

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