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San Andreas Fault
San Andreas Fault

San Andreas Fault

star-5
481 Reviews
Free admission

The Basics

At just over 28,000 years old, the San Andreas Fault is still growing at a rate of 2.5 inches (64 millimeters) per year, constantly reshaping California. The fault is divided into three distinct zones, each of which can be visited: the northern part via the Pinnacles National Park, the central part at the San Andreas Fault Observatory in Parkfield, and the southern part from the San Bernardino Mountains to the San Gabriel Mountains.

Open-air Jeep tours head out to the Palm Desert to explore the fault, as well as the oasis and hot springs it created.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Palm Springs

star-5
San Andreas Fault Tour
Neal_D, Sep 2021
San Andreas Fault Small Group Half-Day Jeep Tour
Fantastic Driver and narrator. Communicated a lot of in depth knowledge of the Fault line etc. Wife said one of the best tours we have ever had and I agree. Can’t wait to do it again with friends next visit. Thanks again Peggy and Neal Dossett.
star-5
Highlight of our Palm Springs vacation
Kim_M, Aug 2021
San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour from Palm Desert
Seeing a real oasis in the middle of the desert was a unique experience. Our tour guide Morgan was so friendly and knowledgeable and she drove that jeep through the twists of the terrain like a boss! My 4 kids really enjoyed this exciting ride and learned some fun facts along the way. It was the local highlight of our trip and very memorable with all the beautiful scenery and so many great photo opportunities!
star-5
Very Interesting
Silvana_M, Aug 2021
San Andreas Fault Small Group Half-Day Jeep Tour
Colin was extremely knowledgeable and made our tour very fun!! This tour was very interesting and something I would recommend to do!
star-5
Great tour!
Cheryl_E, Jul 2021
San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour from Palm Desert
Wow…Mike and Travis were wonderful guides!! Very knowledgeable, super friendly and thoughtful in their information, really engaging, especially for our teens! We learned a lot in the short time we were with them.
star-5
Wonderful
Fei, Aug 2021
San Andreas Fault Small Group Half-Day Jeep Tour
Great tour , interesting tour, I enjoyed. The tour guide is nice and knowledgeable, I will recommend this tour to my friends
star-5
Great Experience
Janet, Aug 2021
San Andreas Fault Small Group Half-Day Jeep Tour
Excellent. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and took us to neat places to explore on foot. Only bummer was we couldn’t try the date I’ve cream because the shop was closed. I recommend this tour.
star-5
Jeep Adventure from Desert to Oasis
pepcrml, May 2021
San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour from Palm Desert
Great day! Very interesting information learned about our valley! Great driver and views from the the jeep! The Petersens
star-5
Excellent in every way!
Danielle_R, Aug 2021
San Andreas Fault Small Group Half-Day Jeep Tour
Excellent guide! Extremely knowledgeable about the history, geology and botany of the area! Not to be missed
star-5
Good trip to take
Nikki_U, Jul 2021
San Andreas Fault Small Group Half-Day Jeep Tour
Collin was very informative, we learned alot. I was naive in thinking I would see a "crack in the ground" for the fault line. Overall very satisfied 😃
star-5
Terrific, well informed guides-breathtaking geology-
JudyR_P, Apr 2021
San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour from Palm Desert
Fantastic! Informative! Totally interesting. I have taken this tour many times with out of town guests. It a highlight of their visit.
star-5
Awesome!
Ellen_T, Apr 2021
San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour from Palm Desert
This was such an awesome adventure! Our tour guide, Dan, was fantastic! My kids, 8 and 11, also had a very fun time!
star-5
Great experience!
Jeffrey_D, Apr 2021
San Andreas Fault Small Group Half-Day Jeep Tour
Isabel our guide was knowledgeable, professional, and a joy to spend our time with. Lots of local insights and recommendations. The whole event was worthwhile. She was very polite and happy too. She made our trip enjoyable, and we would highly recommend the tour company and her.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Desert temperatures can fluctuate drastically, so dress in layers if you’re heading to Palm Desert on a tour.

  • Wear sneakers or hiking boots to climb around the fault area.

  • Be sure to apply sunblock, wear a hat, and bring water.

  • Almost all traces of a crack in the earth along the fault line were erased by the 1906 earthquake that leveled San Francisco; what remain now are geological rock formations.

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How to Get There

The southern part of the fault begins near the San Bernardino Mountains, just outside of Los Angeles, and runs east to the San Gabriel Mountains, with Palm Springs being the best place to explore the fault. Palm Springs is located about an hour and 45 minutes southeast of LA. Tours typically begin at a location in Palm Desert, not Palm Springs.

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Trip ideas


When to Get There

If you’re planning to head out to Palm Desert to tour the fault area, book your trip between January and April, when the weather is the most pleasant. During the summer, temperatures regularly rise above 100 degrees. If you want to explore the northern section at Pinnacles National Park, which is near Big Sur, aim for some time between September and November for optimum weather conditions.

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Joshua Tree

Named for the Joshua trees that are native to the Mojave Desert, Joshua Tree National Park is located near San Bernardino and Palm Springs. The protected area boasts plenty of outdoor activities, such as camping, hiking, rock climbing, and birding, and many tour companies offer rides in 4WD vehicles, to explore the park and its wildlife.

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