It’s been a very lovely December. Christmas decorations are up, presents are wrapped, and despite the looming lock downs, we were still able to get out and explore. Another lovely thing about December is that it is prime desert season! This time of year the sun is warm, the air has a bite to it, and the sky over the high desert is the brightest shade of blue. If you are luckily enough to be in the desert after a bit of rain the air will be filled with the smell of creosote. We took advantage of the season and headed to the Pioneertown Mountains Preserve. The preserve is located in the town of Pioneertown, just north of Yucca California, and is managed by the Wildlands Conservancy. At the preserve you can enjoy over 25 thousand acres of high desert vegetation, riparian wash, and archeological sites. The preserve is the ancestral home of the Serrano Indians, and if you keep an eye out you can find pictographs along the trails of the preserve. The main trail in the preserve follows Pipes Canyon up towards the San Bernardino Mountains. Our goal was to reach Olsen Ruins which consists of a stone cabin built it the 1930’s as a mining shelter. The ruins are just under 2 miles from the visitor center. The trail is flat and criss-crosses through high desert vegetation and willow riparian scrub. Anyone with a toddler knows that 2 miles can take all day, do not underestimate the importance of picking up every rock and stick along the trail. After reaching the ruins we spent time exploring and enjoying the abundant snacks we had packed. Another thing everyone with a toddler knows is how fast snacks disappear! Once all the food was gone that was our queue to head back down the trail.