The Big Morongo Canyon Preserve is a verdant oasis in Southern California’s San Bernardino Mountains.
The 31,000 acre canyon is surrounded by desert,
and is one of California’s ten largest perennial oases.
The preserve is a riparian wilderness with Palm Trees, Cottonwood Trees and Willows, as well as a variety of native shrubs and flowers.
It is a critical wildlife corridor sheltering mountain lion, bighorn sheep, mule deer and bobcat.
It is also hosts up to 274 different varieties of birds during the spring and fall migrations.
The marsh like preserve is perpetually flowering even in late fall and winter.
Cheers to you from the happy wildlife at Big Morongo Canyon Preserve~
Wow, what a beautiful place.
thanks Michele, I like spending time in places like this.
I can see why!!! My
Husband is from Bakersfield CA and I’ve always loved that state.
Bakersfield is the nexus for Southern Californians traveling north, and Northern Californians heading south. It is a town leading to endless California possibilities.
It really is!! If it wasn’t so expensive to live in California we’d have settled down there.
Yes, it is over priced, and there is also the quakes and fire issues. This preserve has year round water because it leaks from The San Andreas Fault.
If your photos are anything to go by, this place is marvellous. 🙂
Thank you, and it is a very peaceful oasis.
I agree! Awesome nature shots!
So appreciated! Thank you.
Do you know what kind of bird that is? Is this far from where you live?
I am amazed you asked this question!
Because this bird, a Northern Flicker, a type of woodpecker, is elusive at The Holler, and I am always trying to take a good photograph of them.
The Holler woodpeckers basically never let me near, because they live in a place where acorns fall from trees like snow.
They have all they need and avoid me.
In other places, with less acorns, they fleetingly let me near.
Interesting! I didn’t know this about bird behavior.
I was going to ask this question and then thought to check if anyone else had. He’s a very striking fellow, unlike any I’ve ever seen!
They are gorgeous polka dot birds, but shy around me, so of course, I want their photos!!!
The last people to inhabit the canyon before the arrival of white settlers were the Morongos, a powerful clan of Serrano Indians. They lived peacefully in this canyon and surrounding valley until the mid-1800s.
The preserve was the site of a large (>10 acre) historic “Maringa” (Morongo) Native American Serrano permanent settlement. The site, CA SBR‐561, is a large residential site with a continuous, dependable source of water. The valuable biotic resource assemblage that the water attracted, provided for ample food and manufacturing materials to support the view of it being a permanent Maringa Serrano residence for a long span of time. Present on the site are bedrock mortars, several types of ceramic wares, lithic tool stone debitage and numerous late period projectile points.
Human remains were discovered on the site in 1994 that were not cremated, suggesting a greater age of the site since Serrano traditionally cremated their deceased in historic and ethnographic times. Little is known of the archaeological site, since no known ethnographic or historic accounts exist. The Serrano people who occupied this site had long before either left the area during the mission period, joining and merging with the populations of Cahuilla to the south and west on reservation lands, or had succumbed to European introduced diseases long before. The Warren homestead, established in 1885 by Mark and Sylvia Warren, is located adjacent to the preserve.
It is incredible isn’t it. Much of this I didn’t know, like the human remains on the site. Thank you so much for enlightening me.
We regularly find evidence of earlier people and walk the paths they walked, see the places they ground their acorns and buckwheat. When I was a kid I used to find arrowheads. Basically every beautiful place we walk in rural Southern California near perennial water was walked by those who walked before us, and evidence can be found of their presence with a careful eye. I have a post on ancient petroglyphs and metate I haven’t yet posted.
It is horrible to think of what happened to these people when the Europeans came, what was done to them.
Thank you so much for sharing this most moving information.
It is great that these acres of nature have been set aside. Thank you for giving us a glimpse of what we might see if we visited there…
You are most welcome and I hope you do visit!
We can’t live without her.
Wild life corridors are so important for the movement of native animals. It is good to see it being preserved. Lovely photos Cindy
Thank you Pauline. These corridors are especially important in places like Southern California where developers have ruined so much pristine nature.
Same over here Cindy
What a lovely place, and beautifully photographed!
Thank you very much & I am happy you enjoyed!
Just begging to be explored 🙂 What a delightful view.
The path that beckons,
cannot be resisted!
This is a beautiful area, rich in history. Thank you, Cindy!
Merci beaucoup mon ami <3
I love it when people set aside places for nature to thrive. A beautiful place, Cindy, with blue skies!
Happy you enjoyed & yes, we need more protected places.
A wonderful place, Cindy. I would enjoy visiting there.
I hope you do someday <3
It’s a precious place!
Look forward to the day you say bye-bye to the snow Resa and come on down for wee visit <3
Such a beautiful place. The perpetually blooming flowers look lovely on the marsh.
Thank you.I bet it is gorgeous now, as I took these photos before the rain came.
Wow what an incredible place – so lovely to see your pics as always Cindy. 🙂
My Scottish grandmother, and I, are very happy you like a place that is almost as beautiful as Scotland.
I have enjoyed my ‘visit’, thank you.
Awww, makes me smile. Thank you.
What a beautiful place!
It is not Canada. But it is a runner up.
Reblogged this on ravenhawks' magazine.
Thank you <3
Always very nice to read about your diverse excursions. Thank you.
Thank you more for coming along!
Beautiful photos, especially of the deer. It looks to be a very special place in a pretty dry state.
I imagine it is bursting with green and flowers now, as these photos were taken before the recent rains.
Thank you Emma & have a wonderful Sunday!
It looks a fabulous place, Cindy. Got to hang on to wildness for as long as we can. 🙂 🙂
Exactly. We can’t let them pave all of paradise!
An absolutly beautiful place, Cindy. Your pictures are so very precious, thank you.
Thank you Isabel, for such and kind and thoughtful comment & cheers to you!
Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:
Beautiful pictures taken by Cindy Knoke of Big Morongo Canyon Preserve in Southern California’s San Bernardino Mountains.
Have a wonderful weekend & thank you for your thoughtfulness Patricia <3
Landscapes and wildlife beauties; especially the deer
Thank you Derrick. I couldn’t get that deer to turn around, but thankfully, she did have a quite presentable derriere!
Ha, ha, that’s funny! The deer on my property we refer to as DWA (Deer With Attitude). They eat the hostas and look at you and say, “You wanna make something of it?”
That would be frustrating because I love hostas!!!
Awesome! Seems to be a great place to have a first hand experience with wildlife.
It would be fun at night with all the critters…..
Liebe Cindy, das ist wunderschön, Klaus
Danke und frohe Wochenende Klaus!
what beautiful walk to start my day with… thank YOU…
Awww, your lovely comment made my day. Thank you & cheers!
I must encourage my son to check out your blog. He lives in LA now – and a lover of exploration…especially of parks and natural ‘anything’ really. I believe he has hiked every natural trail in and around LA and has ventured out to other areas – north and south. Plus he is a true lover of hiking and camping…..he would love to visit some of these lovely places you have photographed!
I should do the same for my daughter and her husband in San Diego, who go hiking on a regular basis.
Please, do. I would love to chat with them!
Oh, wonderful. He sounds just like my son! If he wants any tips on out of the way places, tell him to stop by and say hello. I have lived in SoCal all my life and I am still finding new places.
31,000 acre canyon, it’s a good thing to preserve such a large canyon for wildlife. Thank you, Cindy for introducing this special place!
Thank you more for caring about the wild ones Amy <3
Such a beautiful place. Thank you for sharing and have a great weekend my friend.
Visa versa 2UX2 <3
These photos are so beautiful! One of my biggest regrets from my time in graduate school is that I never made it to southern California to experience habitats like these. One day!
Grad School doesn’t leave one with much wiggle room, so I fully relate. However, there is a long bright future stretching ahead of you, full of fascinating trails, and you may want to stretch your legs!
A little paradise or better said an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities! Well demonstrated by your beautiful photos, Cindy!
Thank you Peter. Southern California absolutely needs natural oases protected from the now continuous San Diego to LA urban sprawl.
This looks like another beautiful area to explore. It feels very inviting from your words and photos Cindy. I’m glad that California still has some wild preserves for animals and nature to thrive. I would love to hike and visit the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve!
Give me a holler when you head this way Brad and I will direct to the hidden places!
I can almost hear the birds calling, insects humming, and trees swishing in the breeze! Love the sight of that deer, too. Beautiful place to visit, and how thoughtful for them to add benches along the way!
It is an interesting place because it is surrounded by harsh desert, but it is a verdant, lush oasis, with year round fresh water.
I bet that was a beautiful day when you went there. It must be full of life!
I’d love to see it now because we actually had measurable rain. I bet it is bursting with greenery and blooms.
And the desert parts come alive!
Yes, it does and the ocotillo bloom!
Wonderfull. I remember seeing the ocotillo in Baja. It can be quite the formidable hedge but blooming, it’s nice.
Yes, it has those incredible thorns, but then those gorgeous, delicate red flowers.
That’s a lovely place, Cindy. Do you happen to know the name of the bird in the last photo?
Thanks for asking! It is a Northern Flicker, a type of woodpecker. We have them at The Holler, but they are very shy and stay in the oak groves where they have unlimited supplies of acorns. I see them, but rarely ever am able to snag a photo. They are such pretty polka-dotted birdies!!
That was a great photo of him, Cindy.
Thank you Leslie <3
This lovely place is calling to me. I have always loved the marshes of South Carolina. There is nothing so peaceful with the unusual vegetation and the wildlife protected there. I’ve spent many serene moments where the quiet is undisturbed except by an occasional flap of the wings or the sounds of crabs or the passing of deer. Absolutely beautiful post, Cindy!
The marshes of South Carolina sound beautiful as well!
Oh, I so love your eloquent description! I can perfectly imagine myself daydreaming there. Wish I could beam myself over.
This looks like a wonderfully wild spot, lots of space for critters to roam free of human disturbance. So glad for the foresight to set aside land for preservation.
One good thing in SoCal are the military bases. They are set aside permanently for the military and consist of hundreds of miles of prime habitat. This saves big chunks of SoCal from development. If it weren’t for the bases and preserves, SoCal would be even more chewed up by developers.
This looks amazing. I’m curious what palms are native or whether they just found a good place, or whether you were victimized by autocorrect…I’m putting this on my list for my next CA trip.
The California Fan Palm is native to SoCal and grows all over the place, including The Holler, where seeds are carried by rain water and implant. In the preserve and other natural oases in the desert, these trees form gorgeous palm forests with natural water features. Date Palms were extensively planted for their fruit eons ago and they also self sow wherever there is water. They are around 10-11 types of palms that grow in California, but only the Fan Palm is native.
Thanks so much! I did not know about this and it’s really interesting the different ecosystems.
California has a bit of everything, mountains, redwoods, coastline and desert.
Grazie, prego. xxx
Wonderfull and the deer’s beauty took my breath away.
She had a fawn with her, but she blocked him with her body because she is a good mama <3
Room for the predators and their dinner! Lovely photos. Thank you.
And room for them both to run when the predator wants his dinner!!
Thank you for taking me on this peaceful journey.
I am so glad you came along!
Cheers to you for these glorious images, Cindy!
Thank you Sheila & be well my friend~
Great pic of the flicker, Cindy. I have one that visits the suet cakes I keep in the back yard. -5 here tonight. Stay warm ! ❄
Yikes. So cold!! Stay warm and so good you are giving the birdies needed fat in the suet.
Having difficulty downloading all wonderful photos and comments …. but what I see and feel is pretty darn awesome. Thank you Cindy for bring this to the world 😎🙏😎
Visa versa 2UX2 Val <3
A nice place to visit. Thanks for the pictures.
Thanks for your kind appreciation & cheers Darnell!
Beautiful pictures!! Looks like a wonderful place to spend some time. 💕💕💕
Merci beaucoup mon ami Bernice <3
Same to you! Enjoy your day! 💕💕💕
Thanks for the delightful walk.
So glad you came along!
Dear Cindy, I love these wonderful pictures. Thanks!
Your very kind comment is much appreciated!
I admire your magnificent photos of animals. Especially those of birds. How do you do that to find them and then take such good pictures. Congratulations! Greetings from Italy, Ernestus
I am touched by your very kind comment Ernestus. Thank you very much. I love the birdies so it is a labor of love <3
Wunderschöne Aufnahmen, Cindy. Ein lieber Gruss in den Sonntag wünscht dir Ernst
Vielen dank mein lieber Freund Klaus und frohe Sonntag <3
Wow, that bird looks fabulous!
Absolutely fabulous little peepers !!! 😉
So happy you enjoyed!
Very much so, Cindy! 😀
Perfect place for Wolfie really…even has Wolfie dinner thrown in! 🍗🍔🍕🤣See you shortly!!🐺😄
These are beautiful shots that soothes my mind. Thank you, Cindy. 🙂
Awww, makes my <3 smile to sooth your mind sweet friend.
Reblogged this on LIVING THE DREAM.
Most thoughtful & appreciated! <3
Oh, if only this place is close to us.
I am sorry it isn’t but, I am certain there are lovely places near you as well. <3
Love the shot of the deer checking to see if you got it’s best side. 😉 Those areas are so beautiful. I hope it’s getting enough rain so it won’t catch fire. Those things worry me.
Thank you Marlene. We just got hammered by 5 storms in a row, so for for the first time in a long time, SoCal has enough water! However, the snow in the nearby mountains wiped out our wifi tower so we have no internet! I am at the library.
I’m glad you have enough water finally. And snow in the mountains means water later in the year. But no wifi!!! Not nice of mother nature. 😉 They have been working on ours so it’s intermittent. That old saying, when it rains it pours, seems applicable here. ;( Hugs and enjoy the library.
Thanks for sharing and reuniting our hearts with nature’s beauty.
Cheers to you and happy Saturday!
Oh Cindy… thank you so much for taking us on such wonderful journeys. Since I am unable to travel… how beautiful it is to have your most spectacular pictures and words to wander.
A most beautiful day to you…
Thank you & lovely to meet you.
Pleasure is all mine. You write so we’ll. I get to learn so much.