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Posts From The Road: Palms To Pines

on September 8, 2019 - 7:53am
Mountain Views: The Palms to Pines Byway leaves streets lined with palm trees in the Palm Springs area to the dry desert landscape when  crossing the mountains. The first signs of fall were spotted at a mountain stop as cottonwood trees along a stream begin to show their autumn colors. Photo by Gary Warren/
Idyllwild: The village of Idyllwild, Calif. sits on the western slopes of the San Jacinto Mountains and is surrounded by ponderosa pines at an elevation of 5,413 feet. The peaks in the area rise to almost 11,000 feet in  elevation. Photo by Gary Warren/
Formerly of Los Alamos

While visiting southern California last fall, we decided to explore the San Jacinto Mountains, which are situated to the west side of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley.

Our general route was to drive the Palms to Pines Byway from the Palm Springs area to the western slope of the mountains and then turn north at some point and return to Palm Springs on I-10. 

We left as planned and enjoyed a scenic drive across the mountains where we turned north on Highway 243 to Idyllwild. We found the village of Idyllwild to be an inviting stopping point. It was here that our original tour plans changed as we ended up spending most of the day exploring this village before retracing our route back across the San Jacinto Mountains to Palm Springs.

Editor’s note: Longtime Los Alamos photographer Gary Warren and his wife Marilyn are traveling around the country and he shares his photographs, which appear in the ‘Posts from the Road’ series published in the Sunday edition of the Los Alamos Daily Post.

Harmony: The Idyllwild Town Monument is a carving titled  Harmony created by artist David Roy and sits in the center of town. Photo by Gary Warren/

Carving Detail: A detail  of the Harmony carving exemplifies the artistic and outdoors interests of the locals that call Idyllwild home. Photo by Gary Warren/

Visitors: Two visitors check out downtown Idyllwild. Tourism and the arts are the main sources of income in the mountain village. Photo by Gary Warren/

Deer Sighting: Twenty-two painted deer are seen throughout Idyllwild. The public art exhibit is sponsored by the Art Alliance of Idyllwild. The deer were painted by local artist who volunteered their talents for the project. Photo by Gary Warren/

Return Route: A view of the Coachella Valley seen from the Palms to Pines Byway as we returned to Palm Springs. The highway can be seen as it twists and turns through the foothills leading to the green valley below.