Palm Springs bezienswaardigheden
Some of the best hiking near Palm Springs—and in the deserts of California—can be found at Indian Canyons, which is located at the western edge of Palm Springs. The land is owned and protected by the Agua Caliente Cahuilla Indians, who settled in the Palm Springs area centuries ago. Today, these people diligently care for the trails and invite visitors from near and far to experience the stunning desert scenery.
There are three primary hikes in the Indian Canyons: Palm Canyon, Andreas Canyon and Murray Canyon. All three are thought to be easy to moderate trips, but more advanced hikers can combine different hikes and take small paths with greater elevation gains up the mountains. Some of the features of the hikes include waterfalls, panoramic views and of course, the sprawling desert landscapes. All of the trails are clearly marked.
From the top of Ryan Mountain—the 5,461 ft. highest point in California’s Joshua Tree National Park—the true emptiness of this high-desert expanse is evident in the craggy rock formations and scruffy looking Joshua trees which poke up around California’s 800,000-acre desert park.
Traditionally known as one of the country’s premier rock-climbing and bouldering locations, Joshua Tree National Park is also a favorite Southern California outpost for landscape photographers looking to capture the explosive reds, fiery oranges and dull browns of the high-desert. Joshua Tree National Park is also frequented by wildlife photographers hoping to snap a photo of bighorn sheep, black-tailed jackrabbits, or any number of the 250 bird species which call this harsh desert environment their home.
The endangered fringe-toed lizard is given room to roam at the Coachella Valley Preserve, which was specifically designed to protect these desert creatures.
Guided hikes through the preserves’ sand dunes and rocky escarpments are led by knowledgeable naturalists who can share their insights into the life cycle of this threatened reptile.
The preserve has more than 25 miles (40 km) of hiking trails. While you walk, look out for eagles, California fan palms, bobcats, horned owls, cottontail bunnies, kestrels and lizards.
Sprawling from the Mexico border in the south to the Mohave Desert in the north, the Colorado Desert encompasses 7 million acres of land. The two most well-known destinations within the area are Coachella Valley, famous for its annual music and arts festival, and Joshua Tree National Park, which occupies 800,000 acres of the Mojave and Colorado Deserts. There are also the Imperial Valleys. The Coachella Valley houses seven towns, including sunny Palm Springs.
The Colorado Desert is generally considered a lower elevation area, with few points reaching above 3,000 feet. There’s no better way to describe the climate other than with the use of the word hot. This desert has higher summertime day temperatures than others at higher elevation, and it also receives more rain than the typical desert. There are many indigenous flora and fauna, including regional variations of cacti and brush scrub.
It’s a breathtaking 8-minute journey to the peak of Mount San Jacinto aboard the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Along the way, you’ll travel through 5 vegetation zones, from arid desert to alps.
At the top, the incredible desert views are surrounded by 54 miles (87 km) of hiking trails in Mount Jacinto State Park. The restaurant and cafeteria at the summit mountain station are surrounded by terrific views. The headquarters for the state park are also at the mountain station.
In winter there’s cross-country skiing or snowshoe treks, and on summertime guided nature walks you might spot deer and other wildlife.
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