Backroads Visits Indian Canyons - 28 Feb 2022
As we enjoyed breakfast on the balcony of our room the first rays of the morning Sun was breaking through the palms. At 7 am the temperatures were warm enough to discard the jackets, so today was going to be a warm one (forecasts call for mid 80's). We'd be heading to Indian Canyons in the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains.
We piled into the vans at 8:15 am and drove 20 minutes into Joshua Tree National Park toward Indian Canyons, which is run by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahulia Indians. We parked the vans in an oasis surrounded by palm trees that was otherwise exposed to open skies and the desert Sun. The plan for the group was to hike Murray Canyon with its 3.6 mi / 544 ft. gain or continue on to the Coffman Trail for another 0.6 mi / 111 ft. gain. Robin and I wished to take it a bit easier today, so we chose the Andreas Canyon route with its 1.0 mi / 300 ft. gain; it would give us more time to sketch, bird and rest.
As the group prepared for disembarking I ran to the nearby horse parking area and chased a half-dozen Phainopepla that were singing from the tips of the scrub bushes. Vegetation was dense, so my best luck came from gaps in the green that exposed the birds 50' away.
|Cholla (pronounced "choy-ya")|