An Otherworldly Rocky Oasis in the Desert – Hiking Palm Spring’s Indian Canyons
On our most recent trip to Palm Springs, my inlaws drove up from San Diego to meet up with us. We spent the evening together eating, riding the tram, and hiking the beautiful Indian Canyons on the outskirts of town. We had a full evening planned, therefore, we opted to take the short and easy Andreas Trailhead. Surrounded by harsh desert, the Andreas Creek flows through creating the worlds second largest oasis of California Fan Palms.
Hiking the canyon gifted us with incredible views of the oasis and rock formations as well as sycamore, cottonwood, and willow trees. The landscape felt alien with rock formations jutting out of the ground and crumbling all around us. Surrounded by peace and tranquility we made our way through the trail and back. We even saw a tarantula running through a large open area near the parking lot when we returned and I subsequently dropped my phone directly next to it trying to get a close picture.
What to know before you go:
38500 S. Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, California
Distance: 1 mile (round trip)
Hiking Time: 30-40 minutes
Easy: Hike Only
Elevation Gain: 200 feet
The canyons are on the Agua Caliente Indians land and require an entrance fee. There’s a variety of price ranges but the basic pricing to enter is $9 for adults, and $6 for children with options for seniors, military, equestrian, and annual passes.
October 1- July 4 8am-5pm with the last car in by 4 pm
July 5 – September 5 Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays only 8am-5pm with the last car in by 4 pm
Safety + Preparation
Hiking through nature requires some common sense. For example:
- Pay attention to your surroundings and watch where you step. The terrain is very rocky and home to many critters such as snakes, lizards, and tarantulas
- As a precaution, always let someone know you’ll be hiking and for how long you plan. Checking in on social media could help pinpoint specifically where you are in case of an emergency
- Wear clothing in layers and that protects you from the sun
- Have enough food and water for the journey you are planning
- Don’t count on your phone working and being able to use the GPS to help if you’re lost. Have a paper map and compass with you
- Do not remove any piece of nature no matter how pretty it is
And lastly, be a good person. Leave the land better than you found it. Pack your trash up with you, never leave graffiti or markings, and if you see trash along the way pick it up if you can. We only have one planet and it’s all of our responsibility to take care of it.