Explore Palm Springs: Andreas Canyon

Rock houses blend into the natural beauty of canyon.

Renee Brown History

Appreciation for the beauty of Andreas Canyon dates back to the early 1920s.

Situated above Andreas Canyon are 22 rock houses that blend almost entirely into the sides of the canyons. Hikers and horseback riders with sharp eyes are often surprised when they look up into the mouth of Andreas Canyon and become aware of the rock houses that are perched up on the canyon walls.

During a dispute over the primary rights to the water coming out of Indian Canyons, an attorney working for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians purchased 509 acres that sit above the oasis in Andreas Canyon from the tribe.

In 1921, he formed the Andreas Club, a private group comprised of 24 members. The membership consisted of friends, many of whom were businessmen from the Los Angeles and Long Beach area. They had been coming as a group to this area to camp by the stream that winds its way through the canyon for many years.

Soon after the Andreas Club was formed, members decided that they wanted to build small homes, like cottages, on the property. They built a clubhouse for members to enjoy using the rocks that are indigenous to the canyon. Restrictions were put in place to keep the area as natural as possible.

The rickety dirt road that was built to provide access to the cottages was narrow and guarded by two locked gates to protect the community from curious onlookers.

There is a multitude of ways to Explore Palm Springs, which turned 75 in 2013. One of the more intriguing methods is by exploring Palm Springs history.

The Palm Springs Historical Society will share a weekly story whose time and place corresponds with today.

The Palm Springs Historical Society is located at 221 S. Palm Canyon Drive.

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