Whitewater Preserve is 2,851 acres in the San Gorgonio wilderness and is part of a larger 33,000-acre "Sand to Snow Preserve System." Amazingly, despite being in the middle of the desert, the Whitewater River runs year-round, through the preserve, giving life to all sorts of vegetation that serve as a habitat for the endangered critters and a respite for migrating birds. The canyon plays host to a substantial population of bighorn sheep, snakes, deer, mountain lions and bears... oh my! In this first installment, I am presenting photos of my journey into the Whitewater Preserve...
above: This scary sign warns visitors of what lies ahead...
above: This was the view looking north, into the preserve. You can just barely see a patch of deep green vegetation, which is deep in the canyon.
above: I really enjoyed the colors of the San Gorgonio mountains. In this photo you can see some of the coloration from the mineral deposits in the mountains.
above: This is a portion of the Whitewater river, running from the preserve. It's small at this time of year but it does flow all year long, providing valuable ongoing replenishment to the Palm Springs Aquifer underground.
above: I stopped to look downward, onto the whitewater river.
above: this is the view looking back out of the preserve, so I am facing south, staring at the north face of the San Jacinto Mountains, which still have quite a bit of snow on them.
above: Deep in the canyon of the preserve, I studied the sides of the mountains. The rock formations, mineral content and texture was beautiful.
above: These rocks at the base of the ridge had the most interesting horizontal colors and deposits dating back to their early formation.
above: The first part of my journey into the preserve was a feast for the eyes. But I did not yet know what was further down the road, deeper in the canyons of Whitewater Preserve. Please come back tomorrow for part 2 of my journey...