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Jerry Pillarelli | profile | all galleries >> Travel and Nature >> US Travel; by Trip, by State >> California >> Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument California tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument California

Images of Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Southern California, taken in May 2019.

Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument protects two distinctly different mountain ranges; the Santa Rosa Mountain Range in the south which is primarily made up of rugged and boulder covered desert mountains and the towering San Jacinto Mountain Range to the north that includes the 10,834 foot snow covered San Jacinto Peak.

Administered jointly by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the US Forest Service (USFS), Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument is a well-developed park with several visitor centers and the beautiful Palms to Pines Scenic Byway (CA 74) which connects the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs and Indio) to the east with the higher elevations to the west.

I drove the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway on what was a clear but extremely windy day in the Coachella Valley, 35 mph winds with gusts up to 45 mph (they dont have a few hundred electric turbines throughout the valley just for fun), and was delighted to find peace and calm up in the mountains. Winding through the hot and rocky Santa Rosa Mountains, the byway comes out on the west side of the range and then turns north along the San Jacinto range where the temperatures dipped into the low 50s. Its a beautiful ride along the entire byway and incredible considering the radical change in scenery and climate.
View of San Jacinto Peak (10,834 ft) from Palm Springs in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
View of San Jacinto Peak (10,834 ft) from Palm Springs in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Wind generators with San Jacinto Peak in the distance in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Wind generators with San Jacinto Peak in the distance in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
The rugged San Jacinto Mountains in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
The rugged San Jacinto Mountains in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Mountainous terrain on the east side of Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Mountainous terrain on the east side of Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
The foothills of the San Jacinto Mountain Range in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
The foothills of the San Jacinto Mountain Range in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
San Jacinto Mountain eastern foothills in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
San Jacinto Mountain eastern foothills in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Desert along the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Desert along the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Insects on the Spotted Locoweed plant in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Insects on the Spotted Locoweed plant in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Spotted Locoweed blooms in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Spotted Locoweed blooms in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Seed pods of the Spotted Locoweed plant in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Seed pods of the Spotted Locoweed plant in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Mojave Yucca plants in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Mojave Yucca plants in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
View of the Santa Rosa Mountains from the Cahuilla Teewwenet Vista Point in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
View of the Santa Rosa Mountains from the Cahuilla Teewwenet Vista Point in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Hedgehog Cactus flowers in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Hedgehog Cactus flowers in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Dead tree at the Cahuilla Teewwenet Vista Point in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Dead tree at the Cahuilla Teewwenet Vista Point in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
A  dead Century plant along the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
A dead Century plant along the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Blooming Hedgehog cactus along the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Blooming Hedgehog cactus along the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Cactus bloom in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Cactus bloom in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Century Plants along the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Century Plants along the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Hedgehog Cactus flower in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Hedgehog Cactus flower in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Silver Cholla Cactus in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Silver Cholla Cactus in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Blooming Purple Prickly Pear Cactus in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Blooming Purple Prickly Pear Cactus in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Lizard in the shade in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Lizard in the shade in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Purple Prickly Pear bloom in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Purple Prickly Pear bloom in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Bird in a dead tree in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Bird in a dead tree in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Purple Prickly Pear Cactus bloom along the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Purple Prickly Pear Cactus bloom along the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
View along the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
View along the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
The San Jacinto Mountain Range as viewed from the west on CA 243 into Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
The San Jacinto Mountain Range as viewed from the west on CA 243 into Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Fog rolls into the valley west of the San Jacinto Mountains in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Fog rolls into the valley west of the San Jacinto Mountains in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Dense fog in the valley on the west side of the San Jacinto Mountains in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Dense fog in the valley on the west side of the San Jacinto Mountains in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
View of the San Jacinto Range from along the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
View of the San Jacinto Range from along the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Ocotillo Cacti on a Santa Rosa Mountains hillside in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Ocotillo Cacti on a Santa Rosa Mountains hillside in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Rugged Santa Rosa Mountains from along the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Rugged Santa Rosa Mountains from along the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Rock formations along the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Rock formations along the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
The rugged Santa Rosa Mountains along the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
The rugged Santa Rosa Mountains along the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Looking south at the Santa Rosa Mountains from the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM
Looking south at the Santa Rosa Mountains from the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway in Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mtns NM