California - Sand to Snow National Monument

State: California
Region: California Desert

In February 2016, President Obama designated the Sand to Snow, Castle Mountains and Mojave Trails National Monuments after hearing from thousands of supporters urging him to preserve these important lands. The designations come after nearly a decade of work by Senator Dianne Feinstein and countless others to ensure protections for these areas for recreation and important wildlife values.

Rising dramatically from the Sonoran Desert floor to snowy peaks of Mount San Gorgonio, Southern California’s tallest alpine mountain, the Sand to Snow National Monument is one of the most critical wildlife corridors in Southern California. It also boasts stunning cultural sites including a rich heritage of Native American petroglyphs and mortars. The monument contains a rich tapestry of landscapes and habitats including alpine slopes and snow-capped mountains, low elevation Joshua tree woodlands, rivers, wetlands, and desert vistas. As a result of this incredible range, it is home to the most botanically diverse mountains in the United States.

The headwaters of the Whitewater River and Santa Ana River – southern California’s longest river – run through this area. The wetlands and oases in the monument are vital habitat for more than 240 types of migrating birds, including yellow chat and vermilion flycatchers.