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.


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.


For additional information or to make a reservation for camping, call the ranger station at Pioneertown Mountains Preserve at (760) 369-7105.


Mission Creek Preserve is open to the public free of charge seven days a week from dawn until dusk. There is a parking lot located outside the locked gate to Mission Creek Preserve. Prior authorization to park in this lot is not required.

A second parking lot is located at the Mission Creek Stone House, approximately 1 1/2 miles beyond the access gate. Prior authorization by The Wildlands Conservancy is required for vehicular access to this parking lot. To request access, complete the Mission Creek Preserve Access Request Form (link below) at least two business days prior to your planned visit. The parking area at the Stone House, which is accessed via the locked gate, is only accessible with prior authorization.

Mission Creek Preserve Access Request Form (Google Form)

60550 Mission Creek Road
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
(760) 369-7105
Get driving instructions
Mission Creek Preserve Location Map (PDF)



All programs are free! Donations are always welcome and appreciated.

Volunteer Days
Join us in helping maintain the preserve. Volunteers will work on a wide variety of projects including trail maintenance, preserve clean-ups, invasive weed removal, and more! Please come prepared with close-toed showes, pants, a hat, sunscreen, water, and gloves if you have your own. Please call (760) 369-7105 for more information.