Indian Canyons, Palm Springs, Ca

Palm Springs is south of interstate 10, at the confluence of Tahquitz, Andreas, Murray and Palm Canyons. The San Jacinto and Santa Rosa mountains are west and south respectively, 107 miles east of Los Angeles. This cosy hot spot is also on the western edge of the vast Mojave Desert, the home of Death Valley. Isolated from development of the cooler costal areas, it has been the home of the Cahuilla Indian for hundreds of years.

The Cahuilla map avoided rude people and hot summers by living in the cooler environment of four canyons: Palm, Murray, Andreas and Tahquitz. On Mar 28, 2010, I spent the day in portions of Tahquitz and Palm canyons. Barrel Cactus are growing everywhere on the gentle slopes of the half mile of Palm Canyon south of the parking lot. It appears that fire keeps this area from becoming a Barrel Cactus forest.

Palm & Tahquitz Canyons
  • Tahquitz Canyon as seen from the ticketing office

Tahquitz Canyon is a deep rocky canyon in the San Jacinto mountains west of Palm Springs. Palm Canyon Drive, adjacent to the San Jacintos, is a one-way street southbound on the west side of Palm Springs. The Ski Tram runs some what parallel to Tahquitz canyon. Tahquitz is a high volume drainage that feeds a dedicated canal eastward across the city, a controlled release dam at the canyons mouth, a water flow measuring device and a water falls further up. The canyon bottom has a lot of tall brush, rocks and obstacles. Stay on the pathway and the walk to the falls is easy.

Palm Canyon road continues south of the residential area and enters a very open, broad, Palm Canyon. At the Toll Gate, see map right, you can purchase access to Andreas, Murray and Palm Canyons. They might also tell you about this Palm Canyon Road feature.

Palm Canyon, at least for a 1/4 mile above the parking lot, is much easier than Tahquitz to walk around in. All of these canyons extend for great distances. Civilization, in the form of highways and roads surrounds these mountains. Enjoy.


Here is a link to the tribes site, Indian Canyons. They provide a great deal of information there. There is numerous hiking trails that cover large distances between Hemet and Palm Springs.

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