The San Jacinto Mountains will host a BioBlitz this weekend, celebrating its 20th year of being named a National Monument. The first 50 people to register for this free event will also receive a 2020 National Public Lands Day shirt.
The BioBlitz will be held from noon on Friday, October 23rd through noon on Saturday, October 24th. If you haven’t participated in a BioBlitz yet, they’re really fun. Basically, you just take your smartphone outside and snap pictures of all the stuff you see — plants, animals (if you’re lucky! and keep your distance!), even mushrooms — and then load them into an app like iNaturalist. This event will be the first ever BioBlitz for the San Jacinto Mountains. The BioBlitz will not only show off the biodiversity of the region, but all the data collected will help scientists studying it, too.
The Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument encompasses 280,000 acres of public lands, from the desert floor to mountains over 10,000 feet above sea level. Some of the easier trails include stunning palm oases and cascades just outside of Palm Springs. You can also take the famous tram ride up to a trailhead for Mount San Jacinto (or take the much more difficult Cactus to Clouds trail). You can also enjoy some really challenging canyon and creekside routes, like the Sawmill Trail or Horsethief Creek.
There are also two wilderness areas within the Monument. The Monument was established by Congress on October 24th, 2000.
For more info on how to use iNaturalist, be sure to check out our helpful primer post here. For more details on the BioBlitz event and to register, head to DesertMountains.org. And have fun out there!