Outdoor Adventures

Hike the Canyons

Hiking trails are abundant in Palm Springs. From easy walking trails to difficult terrain, outdoor enthusiasts will experience spectacular mountain vistas, waterfalls, natural streams, rocky gorges and unusual rock formations. The pristine desert air mixed with giant palm trees and an alpine wilderness create the perfect setting of natural desert beauty.

Located on Agua Caliente tribal land, the canyons are a must-see. Undisturbed natural beauty is combined with remarkably easy access - the canyons are located just minutes from downtown Palm Springs. The Tahquitz Canyon Trail is a two mile loop trail which leads to Tahquitz Falls and back. From the Visitor Center to the falls you will be gaining 350 feet in elevation. The trail is steep and rocky with many rock steps to climb. You must have good balance and be able to climb up and down rock steps that may be as high as 12 - 15 inches.

Joshua Tree National Park

Explore Joshua Tree National Park, located about one hour from Palm Springs. Two deserts, two large ecosystems primarily determined by elevation, come together in the park. Few areas more vividly illustrate the contrast between “high” and “low” desert. Below 3,000 feet, the Colorado Desert (part of the Sonoran Desert), occupying the eastern half of the park, is dominated by the abundant creosote bush. Adding interest to this arid land are small stands of spidery ocotillo and cholla cactus.

The higher, slightly cooler, and wetter Mojave Desert is the special habitat of the undisciplined Joshua tree, extensive stands of which occur throughout the western half of the park. According to legend, Mormon pioneers considered the limbs of the Joshua trees to resemble the upstretched arms of Joshua leading them to the promised land. Others were not as visionary. Early explorer John Fremont described them as “…the most repulsive tree in the vegetable Kingdom.”

Joshua Tree National Park may be visited year round. Visitor centers and wayside exhibits, providing opportunities to acquaint yourself with park resources, are located along main roads leading into and through the park. Publications about the park are sold by the Joshua Tree National Park Association at visitor centers and on the web.

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