Mission Creek Preserve

Located in a transition zone between the Sonoran and Mojave deserts, the 4760 acre Mission Creek Preserve has a rich species composition, with flora and fauna representing both deserts. Visitors are surprised to discover the center of the preserve is a lush wetlands juxtaposed with extensively eroded painted hills and Mount San Gorgonio looming in the background. The wetlands and perennial stream are important habitat the endangered least Bell's vireo and southwestern willow flycatcher. The preserve hosts deer, bear, big horn sheep and mountain lions and has spectacular displays of spring wildflowers in wet years. The preserve trail system leads onto the Pacific Crest Trail which is two miles from the stone house group campground.

Visitor Opportunities

The preserve trails lead to the Pacific Crest Trail that is four miles from the Trailhead Parking Area. Visitors can hike from Mission Creek Preserve to the Whitewater Preserve, eight miles each way, by using the Mission Creek and Pacific Crest Trails. Four stone casitas have been converted to shade structures for picnicking.


The trailhead is at the end of Mission Creek Road heading west of Highway 62, 5.5 miles north of Interstate 10 and Palm Springs.

There are two parking areas at Mission Creek Preserve. The parking area outside of the locked access gate on Mission Creek Road is available for visitor use without prior authorization from TWC.


The parking area at the Stone House, which is accessed via the locked gate, is only accessible with prior authorization. Click here to request vehicular access to the Stone House parking area. Please request access at least one week prior to your planned visit.

60550 Mission Creek Road
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240