Palm Desert in July
I drove to Palm Desert, CA from
Laguna Hills, CA on Hwy 73 over Ortega Hwy through Elsinore.
This is the view when I came over the mountain and saw the desert.
The air felt like a blast furnace. It was about noon and the
temperature was about 103 F in Palm Desert.
This is the MiraMonte Resort
on Hwy 111 in Indian Wells where I stayed. The hotel and
the grounds are very nice. The resort is located next
to a giant palm grove.
This is the evening
sky outside my hotel room.
An evening sunset from hotel.
The week that I as there, there
were many clouds and it was more humid than usual. This was
the hills just before you get to the La Quinta Resort and Spa,
in La Quinta, CA.
Another image of the hills by the
La Quinta Resort and Spa.
At the end of my week of work there, I decided to take a day
to play and discover a little about the desert. I like to
hike, so the concierge at the MiraMonte suggested a few places.
The one that I chose was an area called Indian Canyons. It
is located just south of Palm Springs off of Hwy 111 at the
end of South Palm Canyon Drive. Any one can point you in the
right direction. I got there just before 8:00 am when the
park opens and waited about 15 minutes only to find that I
had to have cash to get in. I turned around and went back
to town to a cash machine. When I returned, I went to Palm
Canyon first since from the brochure, it looked like the nicest.
"The canyon is 15 miles long and one of the great beauty
spots in Western North America", according to the brochure.
This is a photo of me standing in the road that you had to
pass through to get to Palm Canyon. It is a very narrow passage,
although a medium size motor home did make it passed, inset
of a sign advising to the contrary.
This is looking into the first
palm area. You will notice that the palms in these canyons
grow due to year round water. Like an oasis. Underground
springs feed these streams.
In a small canyon looking up at the cliffs.
In these canyons, no one trims
the dead fronds from the palms so they look like they have
figures and sometimes like skirts. There was no real water
in this part of the canyon. It was a little damp, but no running
This is looking back
further into the canyon. Just to the right of where this picture
is taken there is a gift and Indian craft shop.
Here in the other part of this
same canyon, there was a little water running in the stream
that looked like it may be a stream of 5-7 feet wide in
the winter months.
Because there is very little activity
or visitors this time of the year, it is wonderful to hear
the sound of the water in the stream. It is cool in the shade
of the palms. There were thousands of palms and other vegetation
in these oasis canyons.
On my way to Andreas Canyon, I stopped at what appeared to
be a gas station at one time. In the background you can see
what must have been the restrooms, they were plumbed as such.
An interesting view out the window toward Palm Springs.
A detail of the window frame that has not seen glass in a
As I approached Andreas Canyon,
I could really see the contrast of the palms against what
appeared to be a completely dry and lifeless hillside
covered with nothing but rocks. As you will see this is
not the case at all.
When I got to the parking lot of Andreas Canyon, I was able
to find a place in the shade, mostly due to there was only about
5 other cars there. I was going to go into Murray Canyon, which
was mentioned in the brochure as the least traveled of the canyons,
when I saw a sign for a trail to an abandon mine. I was intrigued
and decided to go there instead. I made sure that I had plenty
of water, since the sign said the trail was about 3.8 miles
and it had an elevation climb of about 2000 ft..
As I walked along the trail
I discovered lots of small and large plants growing in
among the rocks. I guess the moisture that gets trapped
in around the rocks was enough for some of the plants.
Here is a sampling or what I saw.
Detail of the cactus on the left
From my hike I could look back
and see the oasis of Andreas Canyon and Palm Springs in
This and the photo below are Andreas
Canyon beyond what visitors can see by going into the canyon.
These were taken from on the trail about 500-800 ft. about the
canyon. The right photo is a closer shot of the left. If you
look closely at the right photo, you can see a water falls to
the right of the two lightest rocks about 2/3rds down the photo.
The falls looked like it dropped about 30-50 ft. and had a lot
of water in it.
As I climbed to the top, there
were no markers on the trail to let me know how far I
had come or how far it was to the mine. It was getting
very hot and my water supply was running low. I had to
find shelter from the sun at rock outcroppings. Finding
shade was not easy and once I had lay under a rock not
much larger than me that gave me only about 3 inches of
clearance for my body to fit under it. I had to lay flat
on my back.
I never did make it all the
way to the mine. I figured that I was somewhere around
3/4 to 4/5 there when I decided to return to the canyon.
When I reached my car I was out of water and exhausted.
I did not realize how much so until I sat in my car and
drank another 3/4 bottle of water and than immediately
fell asleep for about 45 minutes. When I woke, I decided
to take a walk there in Andreas Canyon along the stream,
which I did not know existed till I walked a little way
into the canyon.
Along the stream there are
a number of places to get wet. At the end of the canyon
there is a little falls (18-24") and a small pool
between two large boulders and I took off my clothes and
sat in the water. It was very refreshing.
This is an example of what the stream
looks like along the way up the canyon to the end. The pictures
you saw earlier of the back end of the canyon are not accessible
by walking back the canyon. It is private property and there
is a fence and signs posted "No Trespassing."
More of an idea of what
the canyon walls and the palms look like.
The air is very cool
and fresh smelling all along the stream.
The formations of the rocks vary
with every step you take.
Looking back into the
canyon from the parking lot.
Some of the rock outcroppings,
like this one, are spectacular! There is evidence of earthquake
action all over these hills.
Looking from the parking lot back
toward Palm Springs. When I left the canyons, it was about 108 F and I headed back across the hills to Laguna Hills, CA. about
3:30 p.m. I had a wonderful time. I have no idea of what the
desert is like in the winter, I just know that whenever you
get to the Palm Springs area, you must venture to the Desert
Canyons for a visit.