Blue bird Big Morongo
Joshua trees hiking path
Bird sits on a tree branch at Big Morongo,
top view of Big Morongo Canyon

Big Morongo Canyon Preserve

Route 62 to East Drive, Morongo Valley, CA 92256 760.363.7190


  • Park reopening: The preserve is open with portions of the trails remaining closed due to the storm damage. View trail map for trail closures.
  • Daily: 7:30 AM to dusk
  • Admission is free: donations accepted by Friends of Big Morongo

Located on Morongo Valley north of Desert Hot Springs, Big Morongo Canyon Preserve is well recognized as an important wildlife corridor that links the San Gorgonio Wilderness with the San Bernardino National Forest and Joshua Tree National Park.

Within the 30,000-acre Preserve sits the Big Morongo Regional Park (about 200 acres), which is owned by the County of San Bernardino. Under a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with the County, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages the land and is supported by the Friends of Big Morongo Canyon Preserve and other volunteer groups.

There are numerous trails to walk and hike, including an ADA accessible boardwalk through the marsh and riparian habitats. This corridor allows wildlife, including mule deer, big horn sheep, and mountain lions to move freely within this area and is an internationally-recognized birding site. Through guided tours, you can see more than 247 bird species with at least 72 resident breeding species.


Hiking & Trails

Docent-led hikes by Friends of Big Morongo

Regional Parks offers a wide range of trails and footpaths to explore either on a leisurely walk or with a group of experienced hikers through a lush, verdant canyon of willows and free flowing water. Big Morongo Canyon Preserve offers many trails:

A blue bird sits on a branch.

Bird Walks

Bird Walk Calendar

Walks are led by Dee Zeller and other knowledgeable birders who provide an enthusiastic and informative tour of the birds inhabiting Big Morongo Canyon Preserve and adjacent Covington Park.

Bird walks begin at 8 AM every Wednesday.  There are no bird walks on Wednesdays before Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.

Bring your binoculars and spend the morning strolling the trails with knowledgeable local bird walk leaders. Meet at the Information Kiosk south of the parking lot. Beginning birders welcome. Reservations are not required and there is no fee to join a walk, but donations to Friends of Big Morongo Canyon Preserve are gratefully accepted. Friends of BMCP is a 501(c)(3) public charity.

Native yellow flowers at Big Morongo Canyon Preserve.

Nature Photography

The Preserve is free admission and offers plenty of parking, bathrooms and trails to explore. Be sure to pack water and come prepared to spend a couple hours hiking the area with your camera in-hand. Because of year round water, the Preserve is a critical habitat for bighorn sheep, birds, coyote and even mountain lions. Dogs are not allowed at the preserve, even on a leash.

People standing in front of the Natural Science Education Center at Big Morongo Canyon Preserve.

Tours & Field Studies

Contact Friends of Big Morongo Canyon Preserve

Docent-led tours and field studies are available by reservation. We can accommodate groups of up to 30 persons per tour (larger groups are based on staff availability). Reservations are required for both docent-led tours and self-guided tours for groups of over 15 people. Reservations are required at least two weeks in advance. An approved Tour Agreement is required prior to all group visits.



Have a question? Give us a call:

Big Morongo Canyon Preserve

Route 62 to East Drive, Morongo Valley, CA 92256