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San Andreas Fault
San Andreas Fault

San Andreas Fault

star-5
450 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
Fun half day adventure
Tracy_D, Feb 2021
San Andreas Fault Small Group Half-Day Jeep Tour
We had a really nice time! It was nice to be able to do something fun during Covid pandemic. Billy did a nice job.
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
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.
star-5
A great way to explore and support your small and local businesses
Cynthia_J, Feb 2021
San Andreas Fault Small Group Half-Day Jeep Tour
We had an amazing tour with Collin yesterday! He was a super host and shared his passion for the amazing sights we saw! Collin kept my 12 year old daughter engaged and curious about what she saw as we toured San Andreas fault and Painted Canyon. Our wonderful afternoon was capped off with a decadent date shake from Shields. I’ve been visiting Palm Springs for over 20 years and decided to something touristy to support small businesses... so glad I did!
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
Fun, Covid friendly tour of San Andreas Fault
Connie_H, Dec 2020
San Andreas Fault Small Group Half-Day Jeep Tour
Captain Ron did such a great job explaining the geology of the valley and area of the San Andreas Fault!! He was so polite and wore his mask the entire time of the excursion. It was a great learning experience for us all and we absolutely loved the snacks and water he brought for us!! He took some great group pictures for us all that we loved!! Thanks Captain Ron good job!!!
star-5
Would give this 10 stars if I could
Michelle_C, Apr 2021
San Andreas Fault Small Group Half-Day Jeep Tour
Captain Ron-what a gem! We learned so much about fault plates, range formations, plants, agriculture (we drove past vast grows of many types),geology etc. Our 8 and 12 yr old boys were enthralled at our stops along the way too.
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
The most memorable was...
Luther_M, Apr 2021
San Andreas Fault Small Group Half-Day Jeep Tour
The most memorable was how Knowledgeable and helpful Ben was. He made sure we were comfortable, had fun and got educated on the area.
star-5
San Andreas Fault tour
Russell_B, Feb 2021
San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour from Palm Desert
We enjoyed our adventure. It was a nice mix of walking and riding in the jeep. We went with kids and grandparents and all were kept entertained. Terri was a great guide and very knowledgeable.
star-5
My husband and loved the...
Sheryl_V, Mar 2021
San Andreas Fault Small Group Half-Day Jeep Tour
My husband and loved the experience with Isabel our guide. We loved going off road at the fault. Learned a lot. The Oasis was super cool too!! Isabel was great!! Very knowledgeable.
star-5
Very good
Iokapeta_E, Jan 2021
San Andreas Fault Small Group Half-Day Jeep Tour
I really like the tour at San Andrea Fault. The sandy mountains and the painted mountains. I will consider it going again in the future.

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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