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San Andreas Fault Tours

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San Andreas Fault
Running down the state of California, from Cape Mendocino to the Mexican border, the San Andreas Fault forms a continuous, narrow break in the Earth's crust between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates. Seismologists predict that the fault will eventually cause the "big one": a 7.0+ magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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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4 Tours and Activities to Experience San Andreas Fault

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San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour from Palm Springs

San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour from Palm Springs

star-4.5
Only Red Jeep Tours can take you to Metate Ranch, located in the heart of the San Andreas Fault Zone. On this awe-inspiring OPEN-AIR Jeep Tour, you will travel deep into the heart of California’s world-famous San Andreas Fault and witness the forces of nature that have created amazing, steep-walled canyons and the most twisted and tormented landscapes on Earth! You will be awestruck by the spectacular scenery as your Jeep winds its way through the bones of the earth. During your adventure, you will stop several times for short nature walks, including a short hike through a slot canyon, if desired. This tour also stops at a natural palm oasis, where water bubbles up from the ground year-round. Here you will learn about how the Cahuilla Indians used desert plants to survive in this inhospitable environment. A final highlight is a guided tour of our recreated Cahuilla Indian Village that showcases the lifestyle and culture of the Cahuilla people.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$250.00
Price varies by group size
From
$250.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour from Palm Desert

San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour from Palm Desert

star-5
Explore the geology around California’s legendary San Andreas fault during a Jeep tour from Palm Desert. See a desert oasis fed by an underground spring as your naturalist guide describes how the Native American Cahuilla tribe used the desert's plants for food, medicine, and shelter. Marvel at steep-walled canyons and tall twisted rock mountains, and learn about the plant and animal life of the area. Choose from a morning or afternoon tour that includes light snacks, bottled water, and round-trip transport from Palm Desert.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$250.00
Price varies by group size
From
$250.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Half-Day Jeep Tour of the San Andreas Fault

Half-Day Jeep Tour of the San Andreas Fault

star-5
Learn about California's geology and desert wilderness on a half-day Jeep tour to the San Andreas Fault. Drive through the Coachella Valley to the fault zone while hearing from your guide about native plant and animal life, local history, the Salton Sea, and earthquakes. Depending on your preference, you can take a nature walk in the desert or stay in the vehicle. You'll also stop by a date farm where you can try their signature date milkshake. Includes guide, transportation, and light refreshments.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$177.67
From
$177.67
Taking safety measures

Earthquake Canyon Express Downhill Bike Tour

Earthquake Canyon Express Downhill Bike Tour

star-5
Take a leisurely bike ride in the desert. This guided mountain bike tour will take you down a gentle grade along the San Andreas Fault where the Mojave Desert transitions into the Colorado Desert. Enjoy beautiful views of the desert landscape as you pedal along the paved path. The tour concludes with a rest stop at a date farm where you can try a date shake.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$110.39
From
$110.39
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience San Andreas Fault ?