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Hiking Whitewater Preserve – San Gorgonio Wilderness, California

During our last month in Piru, California we weren’t able to do much quality hiking. We trekked through the Hollywood Hills and the shore of Malibu – both were new and interesting, but neither offered solitude and tranquility.

Once we arrived at our campsite in Desert Hot Springs, it was our mission to find scenic (and dog friendly) trails. Thanks to fellow RV bloggers at Wheelin’ It, their recent post, “5 Dog Friendly Hikes in Desert Springs,” made our research extremely easy!

We decided to hike Whitewater Preserve. Here’s a review about our experience:


Where: Whitewater Preserve in San Gorgonio, California

Access: The Ranger Station for Whitewater Preserve is located 5 miles directly off I-10. There is ample parking, space to tent camp and multiple trail heads at this central location.

Trails: West Fork Trail, Canyon View Loop, Pacific Crest Trail


Our Path: We began our hike heading north on the Canyon View Loop. This trail led us through a valley of desert vegetation. It was well marked and, although sandy, easy to hike. After a half-mile on this loop, we decided to head southwest on the Pacific Crest Trail. The path was steep, inclining over 1000 feet in a short distance. The views from the top were well worth our effort. We hopped back on Canyon View Loop to descend the mountainside and continue back to the Ranger Station. The overall hike was only 4 miles, but steep enough to get our hearts pumping!

Views: The hike provided both valley and mountain top scenery.


Traffic: There was a lot of action close to the Ranger Station. Families camping, guided tours, and vehicle traffic created noise and congestion. Once we were on the trails, the environment became very quiet.

Wildlife: We didn’t see much wildlife, only their footprints and droppings.

Bonus: We were thrilled to hike the PCT for the novelty of the experience.

Overall: The preserve has a lot to offer hikers of all skill levels. Being able to hike with our dog is a “must” for us – having all dog friendly trails gave us lots of options. We’ll be back later in the week to do a little more exploration.


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  1. libertatemamo says:

    Great write up and cheers very much for the mention too 🙂