DAY ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY
The desert around the Coachella Valley is not really known for sunsets. The massive uplift of the San Jacinto Mountains dominate the western skyline and the sun goes behind them a good hour before darkness sets in. The mountains are beautiful but the sunsets are usually nondescript. Tonight, however, with the clouds I thought we might have a good chance at a memorable sunset. I just had to figure out what would be a good vantage point.
I thought the hills near the 1000 Palms oasis would be good because it is on the north end of the valley and the view wouldn't be as obscured by the San Jacinto Mountains as other places might be. But I had to hurry. The sun was going down quick.
I headed toward the trail that goes to Pushwalla Palms.
Instead of going up the steps to the ridge, I turn right and follow the wash. There are plenty of steps leading in this direction so it seems like a good way to go.
It turns out there is a trail going up an old road so it's perfect.
At the top, the trail continues heading east but I take a right and head out across a little trail on the desert pavement that is atop this butte.
It's not long until I hit another trail and this trail is a regular thoroughfare. It is also very old.
The trail heads along the top of the bluff and is marked with Indian trail monuments.
It is easy to see why a trail would be here. It is a direct line from the Wilhelm Grove at the 1000 Palms Oasis to the Hidden Palms Oasis. For the Indians this was like I-10.
On the way back I count the various trail monuments and there are over fifty of different sizes ranging from a couple to feet across to over ten feet. I've never seen such a display of trail shrines in one place.
The trail heads into the setting sun and back toward the main palm oasis.
I'm just gonna ride off into this.