Wildlife Viewing Areas
 Search the U.S.
Find an AnimalFind a Viewing AreaPlan a TripAboutContact


Purchase the California wildlife viewing guide
California Department of Fish & Game

California State Parks

California Travel & Tourism Commission

Rim of The World Scenic Byway Tour
This 110-mile route traverses the rim of the San Bernardino Mountains from Cajon Pass to San Gorgonio Pass through desert and coastal valley to high elevation forests and several lakes. This byway is located in the Front Country and Mountaintop Ranger Districts. Allow at least 8 hours to make the...
more info

Palm to Pines Scenic Byway Tour
Description: The Palms to Pines Scenic Byway offers a full variety of ecosystems in the Lower Sonoran region. From clusters of desert palms to high country conifer forests and snow-capped mountains, you will experience a contrast of ecosystems within a short distance. Admire fantastic views of the urbanized valley floor below, craggy mountains, and the San Gorgonio Wilderness area to the north on the Banning Pass section of the byway. Adventure Pass is required to recreate along this byway.

Wildlife to Watch: Driving through the brushy, forested San Jacinto Mountains, there are vistas of the 11,500-foot Mount San Gorgonio and roadside views of western gray squirrels, coyotes, bobcats, and gray foxes. You may see mule deer, acorn woodpeckers, towhees, and many lizards including western skinks, alligator lizards, and coast-horned lizards at Indian Vista Overlook. Watch the trees at Alandale Fire Station for acorn woodpeckers, Stellar's jays, western scrub-jays and California ground squirrels. Keep an eye out for western bluebird nesting boxes placed along roadside trees in Garner Valley. Great blue herons and Caspian's terns inhabit Lake Hemet, a winter destination for American white pelicans, Canada geese, and other waterfowl. Bald eagles and whitetailed kites hunt near the lake; nearby meadows hide western meadowlarks and California quail. Cahuilla Tewanet Overlook is an arid world of cactus and pinyon pines favored by pinyon jays, prairie falcons, golden eagles, and many lizards. Watch for rare peninsular bighorn sheep on rocky ledges during your descent to Palm Desert.

Special Tips: 

Ownership: USDA Forest Service 
Size: NA 
Closest Town: Idyllwild, CA

RestroomsParkingTent CampingFishingHikingPicnic tablesBoat LaunchVisitor CenterLodgingHorse TrailsHandicap AccessibleSmall BoatsDrinking WaterBicyclingAuto Tour

Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing:

Palm Mountain Bluebird - Photo by USDA Forest Service
Please use Map Link below

Driving Directions:
From Interstate 10 at Banning drive on Highway 243 southbound. Continue through the chaparral and oak woodlands at the Indian Vista Overlook. Enjoy your drive through the conifers to Alandale Fire Station. At Mountain Center, continue south on Highway 74 through picturesque Garner Valley. Stop at Lake Hemet and Cahuilla Tewanet Overlook for wildlife viewing opportunities. Continue on the steep descent to Palm Desert.

Map Link

Palm to Pines Scenic Byway Tour : Wildlife Viewing Area