Indian Canyons Located at end of South Palm Canyon Dr., 5 miles from Palm Springs, (800) 790-3398, (760) 416-7044.
You can take a hike through these lush, scenic canyons that shelter the world’s two largest palm oases and are also the ancestral home of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. The birthplace of Palm Springs, its waterfall-fed streams quench the thirst of more than 5,000 Washingtonia filifera palms--the only palms native to this continent. Pack a backpack picnic and plenty of water. Palm Canyon has a museum and well-stocked gift shop with some snacks—it is a modern oasis, with air conditioning and cold drinking water--plus an easy 1-mile round-trip hike. Some of the palms here reach more than 100 feet high. Easily accessible--you can drive right up to the stream and picnic tables--Andreas Canyon is popular with picnickers and artists (many painters set up here). It features stunning rock structures and also has an easy 1-mile round-trip hike. Murray Canyon has a 4-mile round-trip trail to the Seven Sisters Waterfall.
●Tahquitz Canyon 500 W., (760) 416-7044. A sacred place to the Cahuilla Indians, this beautiful desert spot starred as Shangri-La in the 1937 film “Lost Horizons.” The interpretive center has a sweeping view of Palm Springs. A 2-mile ranger-led hike from here follows a creek-side trail that winds through red rock canyons and leads to a 60-foot waterfall. One weathered ranger warns that “everything in the desert sticks, stinks, bites, or stings,” so take extra care.
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images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers