Scenic USA - California

Andreas Canyon Trail

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Andreas Canyon Trail - Palm Springs, California

Photo by Alastair Allan
Alastair's PBase Gallery

   Palm Springs, remembered best for its famous Palm Canyon Drive and Mayor Sonny Bono, touts its legendary Andreas Canyon Trail resorts, award-winning golf courses, and sparkling lights. This beautiful desert town, adorned with finely manicured landscapes, a rich assortment of shops and fine restaurants, draws in visitors from all over the world.
   Unfortunately for these Californians, the coastline sits over a fracture in the Earth's crust. Scientists have concluded that the planet's shell is formed of a series of lithosphere plates that remain in constant motion. Andreas Canyon Trail Here in California, the Pacific Plate (west) moves northward when compared to the North American Plate (east). Numerous earthquakes occur where these plates rub together, with over 100 logged in the past year.
   One of the most interesting hikes in the Palm Springs area is found in Andreas Canyon. A mile long loop trail leads through a rumpled zone of canyons formed by the San Andreas Fault. Following a mountain stream, the scenery along the trail provides a stark contrast to the Palm Springs desert below. Fan palms, a wide variety of bird species and a coterie of small animals are drawn to this oasis. Just minutes from town, the Andreas Canyon Trail offers spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and desert valleys.

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