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Sand to Snow National Monument

Pictures by QT Luong

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Sand to Snow National Monument owes its name to the dramatic elevation difference between the Sonoran Desert floor (about 1,000 feet) and the 11,500-foot San Gorgonio Mountain, the highest peak in Southern California. That topographic gradient has made Sand to Snow possibly the most botanically diverse national monument in America. No roads penetrate its 240 square miles (154,000 acres) interior, most of it a designated wilderness, however, the lower parts of Sand to Snow National Monument on the east are quite accessible thanks to a trio of developed nature preserves on its outskirts.

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Entrance gate at dawn, Mission Creek Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Wildflowers at sunrise with distant snowy San Giorgono Mountain. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Wildflowers and San Giorgono Mountain, Mission Creek Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Wildflowers and San Giorgono Mountains, Mission Creek Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) San Giorgono Mountains from Mission Creek valley. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Desert in bloom, Mission Creek. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Riparian desert vegetation and cottowoods in winter, Mission Creek Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Riparian desert vegetation in the spring, Mission Creek. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Golden reflections in Whitewater River, Whitewater Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Mission Creek flowing. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Aerial view of valley with San Jacinto Peak in the distance, Mission Creek Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Brittlebush in bloom and San Jacinto Mountains. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Aerial view of Flat Top Mesa. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Aerial view of Black Lava Butte and boulders. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Wildflowers, yucca and boulders, Flat Top Butte. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Wildflowers growing among boulders. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Palm trees and cliffs, Whitewater Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) San Gorgonio Mountain from Whitewater Preserve, sunset. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Trees in winter and foothills, Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Grassy meadow and San Gorgonio Mountain in winter, Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) California native palm trees, Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Palm tree trunk, Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Wildflowers at dawn with distant snowy San Giorgono Mountain. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Aerial view of valley, Mission Creek Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Aerial view of valley with San Gorgonio Mountain in the distance, Mission Creek Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Snowy San Giorgono Mountain, Mission Creek Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Yucca, wildflowers and San Giorgono Mountain, Mission Creek Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Desert plants and San Gorgonio Mountain in winter, Mission Creek Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Yuccas and snow-capped San Gorgonio Mountain, Mission Creek Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Fremont Cottonwood with bare branches, Mission Creek Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Green riparian desert vegetation, Mission Creek. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Yucca in bloom, Mission Creek. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Yucca and wildflowers in bloom, Mission Creek. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Lush vegetation in the spring, Mission Creek. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Wildflowers and yuccas on desert floor. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Desert wildflowers in valley, Mission Creek. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Ruined stone cabins. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Ruined stone cabins and San Giorgono Mountain. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Snow-capped San Gorgonio Mountain. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Brittlebush in bloom and San Jacinto Peak. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Blooming Brittlebush and snowy San Jacinto Peak. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Lush riparian vegetation, Whitewater Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Riparian vegetation and cliffs, Whitewater Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Steep fanglomerate cliffs, Whitewater Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Aerial view of Black Lava Butte, boulders, and Flat Top Butte. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Boulders, Flat Top Butte. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Yucca and boulders, Flat Top Butte. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Wildflowers and yucca in valley between Flat Top Butte and Black Lava Butte. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Wildflowers and boulders. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Wildflowers growing between boulders. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Desert wildflower carpet, Flat Top Butte. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Desert Wildflowers and Flat Top Butte. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Grasses, bare trees, and mountains, Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Bare trees and San Gorgonio Mountain in winter, Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Grasses and cottonwoods in winter, Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Goldenbush and bare trees in winter, Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Reeds in winter, Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Trees with bare branches, Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Tufts of yellow-blossomed alkali goldenbush and trees, Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Thickets of cattails and backlit trees, Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Riparian vegetation in winter, Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Trunks of palm trees, Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color) Detail of palm tree, Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. Sand to Snow National Monument, California, USA ( color)
All the 63 color pictures of Sand to Snow National Monument are on this page