1/20/22: Palm Springs’ Indian Canyons

Family and friends,

If you liked seeing the mammoth California Desert Palms in the previous post, I think you’ll also be struck by viewing what’s considered the world’s largest native oasis of the same trees also located near Palm Springs. Steven and I were so lucky to have the opportunity to hike among the towering trees in a canyon located within the Agua Caliente reservation. 

Click here to read on our main blog or just continue below. https://bergersadventures8.blogspot.com/2022/03/12022-palm-springs-indian-canyons.html

All the best to you and your loved ones,


On our last full day in Palm Springs, Steven and I drove to nearby Indian Canyons located within the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation. Since the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians has called the Palm Springs area home long ago. I read that complex communities were built in the Palm, Murray, Andreas, Tahquitz, and Chino canyons. Of the reservation’s 31,500 acres, about 6,700 acres are within the Palm Springs city limits.  The remaining sections stretch across the surrounding Colorado Desert and mountains in a checkerboard pattern. 

We headed to Palm Canyon which was originally the ancestral home of the Atcitcem Clan and was given as a gift to the Kausiktum Clan of the Agua Caliente Board of Cahuilla Indians. For over 2,000 years, the Cahuilla people made this canyon their home. They survived by harvesting the oasis’ bounty that was abundant with game, plant life, and water.

I don’t recall ever seeing a sign that gave us such pause for thought before when driving.

 Split Rock was near the entrance to Palm Canyon.

The Transcendence sculpture outside the Trading Post was created by the Palm Springs High School Welding Class in 2014.

We descended into the canyon on the Palm Canyon Trail to view what is considered the world’s largest native California Fan Palm oasis. 

Sarah: More of the spectacular California Fan Palms I promised you! 

What a majestic grove of this variety of palm trees we’d never seen until the day before at Coachella Valley Nature Reserve.

Trails of varying length and difficulty led hikers to remote areas of the canyon. From the Palm Canyon Trail, we took the East Fork Trail which had an elevation gain of 850 feet as it meandered through the narrow wash of the East Fork of the Palm Canyon Creek with its towering walls on all sides. 

In the distance overlooking steamy Palm Springs were the snowcapped San Jacinto Mountains. 

On our return to the hotel, we made sure to make time to rest by the pool and take in as much sun as we could before returning to Denver!

Next post: Gallup, New Mexico en route to Phoenix.

Posted on March 1st, 2022, from the other Las Vegas, the one in New Mexico, as we head home to Denver after spending an incredibly relaxing month in Phoenix hiking each morning and then reading poolside each afternoon. Like people the world over, our hearts and prayers are with the people of Ukraine.


5 thoughts on “1/20/22: Palm Springs’ Indian Canyons

  1. Looks so interesting. We’re heading back over to California in June/July and we’re currently planning a road trip which will be about a month long. Definitely fascinated to visit an Indian reservation town or two, we’ll build it into the plan.


    1. Phil and Michaela,

      We only saw a very small part in of Indian Canyons when we were in Palm Springs but didn’t see any town at all there. I would recommend your doing more research before adding the Canyons to your itinerary IF you were looking for a reservation as you might be disappointed.

      The views of the California Desert Palms we’re sufficient for our purposes but you may be disappointed. The heat would be brutal in June and July in Palm Springs, too. For a bigger ‘bang’ I think Joshua Tree National Park has it beat by a mile but again it’ll be terribly hot.

      I know my English-born and raised mother had a problem with Canadian summer heat and that’s nothing compared to what you would expect in the California deserts with Temp quite possibly in the 120s.

      I suggested previously you might want to consider King’s National Park. I should have said King’s Canyon National Park – sorry for the goof.

      IF you can possibly add extra time to your US visit, I would strongly urge you to look into the many national parks in the state of Utah. They are mind blowing in my opinion for their unique geographic features that I can’t help but think you’d be struck by. Even if you could only visit Bryce National Park and nearby Zion National Park not too far from LA, you’d be in for a treat of a lifetime.

      FYI There are more national parks in Utah than any other state in the country!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well actually – Bryce is actually on the “suggested” list that my daughter has given us, and is on our proposed itinerary list. She’s also given us some details of Indian reservation towns off the beaten path a bit, so we’re hopeful. Brutal heat may well be an obstacle but we’ll be prepared as best we can. Thank you so much for all this advice Annie..it’s all going in to the mix…


    1. Glad you also were impressed with the majestic California Desert Palms, Sarah. Funny you, too, were also in tiny Las Vegas, New Mexico. This was our first time hopping off the freeway to stop and also stay there. Its attractive main plaza reminded me of those we saw in several towns in Paraguay.


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