Pioneertown Mountains Preserve
The 25,500 acre Pioneertown Mountains Preserve descends from the high piney 7,800 foot ridges into the Pioneertown Valley. The small community of Pioneertown is surrounded by Conservancy-owned volcanic mesas, the Sawtooth Mountains, and preserve lands leading to the San Bernardino National Forest. The preserve has year-round riparian corridors in Pipes Canyon and Little Morongo Canyons. This landscape is an important wildlife corridor between Joshua Tree National Park, the San Bernardino National Forest, and the Big Horn Mountains Bureau of Land Management Wilderness. The preserve's 20,000 acre Pipes Canyon Wilderness is the largest nonprofit wilderness in California.
In 2006, the vast majority of the Joshua trees, pinyon pines and junipers at Pioneertown Mountains Preserve were killed in a 70,000 acre lightning- caused fire of unprecedented magnitude, and much of the preserve is going through natural vegetation succession. Some scientists predict that fire succession and climate change will favor scrub oak and Joshua Tree plant communities that may replace the pinyon forests. The fire laid bare the region's rich geological backbone.
Many major conservation issues have been lead by TWC's desert staff, which is currently leading the debate to properly site renewable energy on impacted lands, rather than pristine lands in the heart of the Mojave. TWC desert staff has also led the debate on siting transmission lines on existing corridors rather than despoiling hundreds of miles of pristine desert landscapes.
Four years after the Sawtooth Complex fire devastated the Preserve the restoration efforts by staff and volunteers have revitalized the land allowing the Preserve gates to open to the public once again.
The Preserve is open daily from Sunrise to Sunset.
All programs and hikes are offered at no charge to participants. Reservations are appreciated. Please call to RSVP: 760.369.7105.
Docent led hikes are available through May. To schedule a hike call the Pioneertown Mountains Ranger Station at (760) 369-7105.
Chaparrosa Hike Information:
- Moderate to strenuous (1,000 ft elevation gain and some rough trail conditions)
- Allow approximately 3.5 to 4 hrs - 6.6 mi. round trip
- Wear sturdy shoes, layer clothing for changing weather, bring water & snack
- The elevation of Chaparrosa Peak is 5,541 ft., with spectacular views
Sawtooth Loop Hike Information:
- Strenuous: (some rough trail conditions, length of trail)
- Wear sturdy shoes, layer clothing for changing weather, bring 2 quarts water & lunch
- Allow approximately 6 hrs. - 10 miles roundtrip
- Begins and ends in Pioneertown - Meet at Ranger Station first to carpool to trailhead
51010 Pipes Canyon Road
Pioneertown, CA 92268