Each month during the full moon, Friends of the Desert Mountains conducts a full moon hike through a wash in the La Quinta Cove area. With the help of hike leaders and volunteers, this safe family friendly night time hike focuses on fun and educates people about the desert plants and creatures that call this place home. These hikes are wildly popular year round.
This winter (2020) Dave and I volunteered to help with these hikes. Since we aren't experienced enough to guide a hike, we act as sweepers to make sure no one gets lost or separated from the group. It's great to hear the enthusiasm of the hike leaders and the response of parents and kids as they experience the beauty of the shadows and the moon over the mountains.
As you would expect, this hike relies on moonlight to guide people through the mountain wash. However, volunteers carry black lights to find creatures crawling around and flashlights to light up stairs and hilly sections of the hike. For safety reasons, the hike is limited to 100 people but attendees are separated into smaller groups so they can better enjoy the experience.
FODM's goal is to stoke a passion for the environment through recreation programs, like monthly full-moon hikes, weekly interpretive walks, citizen science experiences, and annual festivals.