The Protectors are excited to announce a series of fall hikes. Act now, because each hike is available only to the first 25 people that sign up. We hope you can enjoy us for these informative and fun events!
- Saturday, September 22 7am and 8am Tufa Trail
- Wednesday, September 26 7am Don Tuohy Excavation
- Saturday, October 20 7:30am Super Quarry
- Saturday, October 20 8:30am Super Quarry
- Wednesday, October 24 7am Big Dig Sites
- Saturday, November 17 8am Tufa Trail
- Saturday, November 17 8am Don Tuohy Excavation
More information on the hikes is provided below. Click here to sign up!
- Hikes are limited to 25 participants.
- You may sign up for only 1 hike per day.
- No one under age 10 may participate due to insurance regulations.
- Although leashed dogs are allowed on the Monument, we do NOT allow them hikes in consideration of other participants.
- About 1 week prior to the hike you will receive an email with meeting directions and a release form that must be signed and printed by each person going on the hike and brought the day of the hike.
- Please pay attention to the conditions and length of the hikes in the descriptions below. By signing up for any particular hike you attest that you are physically able to navigate the described terrain.
- There are NO facilities on the Monument. You will need sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots, hat, sunscreen, water and snacks.
Tufa Trail — Duration 2 to 2 ½ hours. Length 2 miles.
This hike is over easy desert terrain.
You will see a Tufa Stream which is an 11,000 year old fossilized stream bed. This is the only known deposit of stream tufa in the U.S. You will see many endangered plant species and may catch a glimpse of the wildlife that now inhabit the national monument like the desert tortoise, jack rabbits and burrowing owls.
Don Tuohy Excavation Hike — Duration 2 to 2 ½ hours. Length 2 miles.
This hike is of moderate difficulty, transversing rough desert terrain with some small hills.
You will be viewing one of the sites discovered during the 1963 “Big Dig”. Toward the end of that excavation, geologist Don Tuohy found a spring mound some distance from the main area of exploration, with a variety of fossils eroding from the surface of this desert mound. He returned to the site in 1964 and excavated mammoths and camels. You will see the small trench that was dug and the excavation site. Today, there is evidence of tusk pieces and other bone still eroding from the mound. Along the way you may see the endangered bearpoppy plants, desert tortoise, and other animals that populate the wash today.
Super Quarry Hike — Duration 2 hours. Length 2 miles.
This hike is moderate, over rough desert terrain with some small hills.
In 2012 the San Bernardino County Museum scientists were exploring an area where a few fossil bones lay on the desert floor. This find turned into a months-long excavation which yielded a family of 3 mammoths and the longest tusk (11 feet) found to date on the Monument.
You will see the quarry site, additional fossil bone being exposed at the site. On the way out you will experience the geology of a natural cavern and other amazing formations which your guides will explain in detail.
Big Dig Hike — Duration 2 to 2 ½ hours. Length 2 miles.
This hike is a relatively easy hike over desert terrain. There will be one small hill.
You will be led to the site of the 1962-63 “Big Dig” where a group of Scientists worked together for 4 months looking for an association between the huge ice age mammals and man. This is also the site that was chosen to test the then new technology of Radiocarbon-14 dating. You will see the campsite, huge trenches that were dug to study the geology, and several excavation sites.
This is the expedition that put Tule Springs on the map and led to its protection as a National Monument.