We have all heard of the San Andreas Fault, but have you ever seen it? It is actually quite interesting and at times spectacular. We rode the Box Canyon Earthquake route – a great road biking downhill near Indio (in the greater Palm Springs area). The fault begins south of the Salton Sea and extends 600 miles north through California. At the epicenter it produces some amazingly twisty and interesting rock formations and uplifts.
The San Andrea fault provides numerous great active travel opportunities in the Palm Springs Area. We enjoyed the Box Canyon Earthquake route best of all. Its impact can be seen as far as the wilderness area on Mt San Jacinto. The aerial tram which takes you there offers a 35 degree difference in temperature from the desert floor to the Coachella Valley, where California’s only native palm tree can be found on route to the Indio Hills.
There are a number of companies that will rent you bikes and drop you at the top of the Box Canyon Earthquake Route including www.psbiketours.com and www.bwbtours.com. You can also either (1) use two cars to create your own shuttle or (2) have someone drop you off at the top of Chiraco Summit, an exit on I-10 east of Palm Springs. The General Patton Museum is at the I-10 exit where the ride begins. It is well worth the visit to learn how the area was used by the military as a training grounds for World War II. The ride from the summit is about 25 miles to Thermal, CA. You can keep on riding westward if you wish though Inido, La Quinta, Indian Wells, and Palm Desert.
You can also ride the route in your car if you’d rather. As the pictures speak for themselves, you can see that it is worth the trip.