Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fish For Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is coming up so I thought that a lot of families might be wondering what to do with the kids. Take 'em hiking! I'll give you a few suggestions of places that are good for kids. They're not too challenging and they've got something interesting for the kiddies to see and do.

My first suggestion is The Fish Traps out in Thermal. They're easy to get to, the hike is REALLY easy and there's an interesting story to tell.

Getting there: Take Jackson Street, south from Indio to the intersection of Avenue 66. As you near Avenue 66, you'll see a large line on the mountain. This is the old water line from the ancient Lake Cahuilla. About 500 years ago, a large lake filled the entire lower Coachella Valley. It was over 25 times larger than the Salton Sea.

Park on the right side of the road. The location is:
Lat: 33.569345º N
Lon: 116.213714º W

Walk along the fence until you get to the end and then turn right.

About a hundred yards from the fence there are some petroglyphs. In addition to original Indian petroglyphs--like this one--people have put up some of their own. The original petroglyphs are all symbols; the modern ones are mostly names.

Continue walking around the hillside and you'll soon come to the Fish Traps. There are dozens along the hillside of varying depths and sizes. Have the kids count how many Fish Traps they find.

There are tons of pot sherds here. Some, I'm sure, are original and some are more recent.

The Fish Traps are in rows along the hillside.

Some of the Fish Traps are really deep and could hold a whole family.

Others, like this last one, are more pint size.

Just be sure the kids don't take anything with them. Leave everything for someone else's kids to enjoy. Let them know this was here before the first Thanksgiving and is probably the oldest historical site in the Coachella Valley.


darlene said...

have you ever been to the cave out by painted hills in mecca? thats a cool hike, too.
also, approxamatly how many miles is the fish trap parking area from hwy 111? i don't have a gps to use the lat/long thing. thanks!

Hal Summers said...

I have been to the Grottos and plan on going there when I get the chance. I love that hike.

The Fish Traps parking area is just under 10 miles from Hwy 111 down Jackson Street. The hike itself is very short but it's an interesting area to visit and there's a hike from there up an old Indian Trail into a canyon to the west.