Connect With the Great Outdoors on Coachella Valley Trails

There is no better way to see the beauty of the area

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Year-round activities at Joshua Tree National Park include hiking and rock climbing.
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Seeking some respite from city life?

Greater Palm Springs offers scenic escapes by the hour or by the day. Find sanctuary among red-walled canyons, along a riverbank, and on mountain paths. These are just a few of the many places perfect for that solo, couple, or family getaway.


Indian Canyons
The magical quality of the Indian Canyons makes them a must for visitors and locals. Hiking and equestrian trails meander near snow-fed creeks that deposit pale, smooth boulders at your feet. Three distinct canyons — Palm, Murray, and Andreas — make up this much-loved attraction owned by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. (Inset photo by Chris Miller/Imagine Imagery)

Joshua Tree National Park
Two deserts merge among a seemingly endless swath of boulders approximately 45 miles north of Palm Springs. The Colorado Desert occupies the eastern half of the park and the higher, slightly cooler Mojave Desert makes up the western half, where you’ll find Joshua trees. Year-round activities include hiking, biking, rock climbing, camping, and stargazing.

Lake Cahuilla Recreation Area
Lake Cahuilla features 710 acres with 91 individual and group campsites — and it’s only six miles from Old Town La Quinta. Activities include fishing (watercraft are not permitted in the 135-acre lake), hiking and horseback trails, and a pool. Open grass areas feature picnic tables and barbecues. Showers are available and pets are allowed.

Whitewater Preserve
Enjoy more than 2,800 acres and the year-round flow of Whitewater River at the Wildlands Conservancy’s Whitewater Preserve. Surrounded by the San Gorgonio Wilderness area, the preserve is a vital wildlife corridor between the San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains and is home to several species of endangered birds and a robust population of deer, bears, and bighorn sheep.

Horseback Riding

CottonWood Canyon Ranch
Open all year, CottonWood invites visitors to come enjoy guided rides on private trails. 48948 Canyon House Rd., Morongo Valley. 760-363-7475;

Coyote Ridge Stable
Take a trot through the scenic foothills of Morongo Valley, with breathtaking views of the mountains. 50639 Panorama Dr., Morongo Valley. 760-363-3380;

Crazy Horse Ranch
This stable hosts private, guided horseback riding tours in the valleys of the majestic San Bernardino Mountains. 50440 Cheyenne Tr., Morongo Valley. 760-831-6450;

Smoke Tree Stables
Take in the stunning beauty of the area on guided tours selected specifically for your riding level, with mountain and canyon views. 2500 S. Toledo Ave., Palm Springs. 760-327-1372;

Horse lovers can also take in polo matches on select Fridays and Sundays from January to March at Empire Polo Club. 81800 Ave. 51, Indio. 760-342-9111;

Horse Show
The HITS Desert Circuit Horse Show runs January through March. 85555 Airport Blvd., Thermal. 760-399-9200;

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