Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Views and Flowers at Chaparrosa Peak

The weather is unusually warm for November--just right for hiking. A friend and I tried our luck at climbing Chaparrosa Peak in the Pioneertown Mountains Preserve. We didn't make it all the way to the top, but got plenty high enough to take in the fabulous views. Above: looking east towards the buttes. 

Looking south.

Looking west in the general direction of Mt. San Gorgonio. This is as high as we got.

The big surprise was the wildflowers--lots of them! Shown here: above, desert bells (wild canterbury bells) and desert poppy. There were many more varieties, and the flowers increased in number as we climbed higher.

As it turned out, we petered out and turned around simultaneously with losing the trail near the top. The Preserve offers free guided hikes up the peak occasionally, which seem like a good idea. For more information about the Pioneertown Preserve, click here. The trails are open seven days a week now, after only being open weekends for some time, and the plants have made a great comeback after the devastating fire of 2006.