Sand to Snow National Monument

Sand to Snow Proposed National Monument
Sand to Snow Proposed National Monument; © Bill Havert

Size: Approximately 162,000 acres

Management Agency: Bureau of Land Management, Palm Springs Field Office and U. S. Forest Service, San Bernardino National Forest

Location: Located north of I-10 near Banning and east and west of Highway 62 near Desert Hot Springs. Access points are off Highways 38 and 62, and I-10.

Maps: BLM Desert Access Guides, Palm Springs and Big Bear Lake and San Bernardino National Forest Map

From the subalpine reaches of the highest peak in southern California, to the desert far below, the proposed Sand to Snow National Monument encompasses one of the most unique and diverse ecosystems in southern California. With habitats ranging from coniferous forests and riparian woodlands to desert scrub and cactus and perennial streams such as the wild, free flowing Whitewater River, the proposed Monument is home to many species of wildlife, including deer, bighorn sheep, desert tortoise, and migratory birds.


The beautiful and varied landscapes of Sand to Snow provide many opportunities for recreation including hiking, horseback riding, backpacking, fishing and bird watching. At higher elevations, winter activities include snowshoeing and cross country skiing. Its many trails, including a segment of the Pacific Crest trail, provide recreational access and opportunities to experience solitude. Sand to Snow is also the setting of outdoor education programs which provide thousands of children each year with the opportunity to experience and learn about the natural world.

Benefits to Local Communities

Sand to Snow is expected to benefit the local economy through increased tourism and by attracting new businesses and residents because of its contribution to the area’s quality of life.

Natural and Cultural Resources

Sand to Snow is of great ecological importance. It contains two of the most critical wildlife movement corridors in southern California. Together they would link Joshua Tree National Park to the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, providing for the health of wildlife and plant populations and their ability to adapt to climate change. Sand to Snow is also located at a unique convergence point between the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, Inland Valleys and mountain environments, creating an evolutionary hotspot and area of tremendous biological diversity.

The diversity and abundance of the area is borne out by its many cultural resources including village and sacred sites. Creation of the Monument would help protect and preserve these special places.

For More Information

Bill Havert, Board Member, Friends of the Desert Mountains | (760) 776-5026

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