Get outdoors and soak up the sunshine in Greater Palm Springs this summer. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or prefer more relaxed outdoor pursuits, California’s desert region has plenty to offer.
Joshua Tree National Park
Encompassing two desert ecosystems – the Colorado and Mojave Deserts – Joshua Tree National Park is one of the most distinctive places in the world. There are a number of hiking trails to explore, providing visitors the opportunity to spot wildlife such as bobcats, deer, lizards and tortoise. Head there during the early evening to see the park at golden hour and stay until night time when the sky is covered with a blanket of stars – it’s a designated International Dark Sky Park.
San Andreas Fault
Deep within California’s Palm Desert is the San Andreas Fault, a 1,200km canyon formed through the collision of the Pacific and North America Plates 30 million years ago, which later caused the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Now one of California’s most defining features, you can uncover the dramatic geology by hiking a section of the fault, including Slot Canyon – a narrow gorge nestled within the two plates.
The Indian Canyons consist of the Palm Canyon, Andreas Canyon and Murray Canyon, which each offer something special and different. They are the ancestral home of the Agua Caliente band of Cahuilla Indians and still remain sacred to the Cahuilla people today. The Andreas Canyon is said to be the most scenic of the three, whilst the Murray Canyon is home to a range of wildlife and the Andreas Canyon is also a great spot to finish up with a post-hike picnic.
Mount San Jacinto State Park
Accessible via the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, the largest rotating tramcar in the world, the Mount San Jacinto State Park offers over 50 miles of hiking trails ranging from carefree to challenging. The Long Valley Discovery Trail is an easy 1.2km loop which gives a gentle introduction to the parks plants and animals, whilst the 2km Desert View Trail boasts a number of scenic views.
Just outside of Greater Palm Springs is the Salton Sea, a unique body of water and the largest lake in California. Formed in the early 1900s, the salt content of the lake is higher than that of the Pacific Ocean. You can look out for different species of bird that live at the Salton Sea as well as the mud volcanoes and mud ponds, formed by geothermal seismic activity.
For more information, visit www.visitgreaterpalmsprings.com