You may be lucky enough to catch sight of these bold and beautiful creatures while on a hike in Greater Palm Springs. A sure bet is at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens.
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Heated salt stones and mud infused with sage and arnica are among the many ways to dissolve tension at the award-winning Sunstone Spa at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage. For an only-in-Greater-Palm-Springs experience, go for the Blue Sage Desert Mud Wrap. hotwatercasino.com/spaservices
Take a shot.
Order the Rosa tequila-based berry margarita made with fresh blackberries and thyme at Agave Caliente Tequila Bar at Agua Caliente Casino Cathedral City. The venue serves up flavorful tapas and more than 50 agave-based tequilas and mezcals served on their own or in craft cocktails and margaritas. We recommend the Tecate Beer-Battered Avocado with lime-cilantro yogurt dipping sauce and classic escabeche. aguacalientecasinos.com/cc/Agave-Caliente-Tequila-Bar
Try your hand (or roll the dice).
Test your skill (and your luck) at the Agua Caliente Casinos in Palm Springs, Cathedral City, and Rancho Mirage. Choose from two Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em poker games and six blackjack games, including Bahama Bonus, a variation of Spanish 21. aguacalientecasinos.com
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Check out this 60-foot waterfall just beyond the Tahquita Canyon Visitors Center.
Chase a waterfall.
Tucked into the San Jacinto Mountains at the end of West Mesquite Road in Palm Springs, the Tahquitz Canyon Visitors Center provides the gateway to a two-mile trail loop leading 350 feet up to Tahquitz Falls, where mountain springs sustain a seasonal 60-foot waterfall. Diverse plant life and wildlife — from the beavertail cactus to the Costa’s hummingbird — and a bounty of beauty and history, including towering rock formations and ancient rock art created by the Cahuilla people long ago, hold the legends and lore of the canyon and the Tribe. tahquitzcanyon.com
Take a hike.
Behold the splendor of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountain ranges and the world’s largest palm grove of indigenous Washingtonia filifera palm trees as you descend into Palm Canyon, one of three main hiking trails in the Indian Canyons. Centuries of Cahuilla life preceded the canyon’s popularity among visitors and hikers. A ranger-led hike reveals everything you need to know — from the flora and the fauna to how the Cahuilla people historically came here for water, shade, shelter, and other essentials. You can also picnic, meditate, horseback ride, and maybe even see a peninsular bighorn sheep high up on the mountain in the Indian Canyons. indian-canyons.com
Businessman, adventurer, and artist Cabot Yerxa spent 24 years building his extraordinary 35-room pueblo in Desert Hot Springs. Today, the art- and artifact-packed building is Cabot’s Pueblo Museum. Explore the home and its history from your sofa by booking a virtual tour with museum staff. cabotsmuseum.org
Meander through a real-life Monet.
Impressionist paintings inspired the idyllic gardens surrounding Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage. A series of five free podcast episodes act as a guide through the history and design of the spectacular terraces, lawns, and flower-filled fields. sunnylands.org
Play in the snow.
Ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway two-and-a-half miles to the powdered peak of Mount San Jacinto, where temperatures are about 30 degrees lower than the desert floor. In the right conditions, you can toss snowballs and rent skis and snowshoes for a challenging trek. pstramway.com
Book a tee time.
The South Course at the Indian Canyons Golf Resort in Palm Springs offers a 6,582-yard layout with five par 5s, eight par 4s, and five par 3s. The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians owns and operates the course, which designed in the early 1960s by Billy Bell and redesigned in 2003 by Casey O’Callaghan with LPGA legend Amy Alcott. With the backdrop of the San Jacinto Mountains, the course winds around four ponds and through 850 palm trees, including 500 Washingtonia filifera palm trees. indiancanyonsgolf.com/south
Take a windmill tour.
Palm Springs Windmill Tours offers a self-guided, 10-stop journey packed with information about the thousands of windmills located between the San Jacinto and San Gorgonio mountains. windmilltours.com
Behold the bighorn.
The smoke tree-lined trails at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert wind through the territory of the valley’s most iconic creatures: peninsular bighorn sheep. Lucky hikers will spot the heavyweight herbivores — the rams weigh more than 100 pounds — on one of three loops, which vary in difficulty and terrain. livingdesert.com
Watch the big game.
It’s always game time at 360 Sports at the Agua Caliente Casinos in Cathedral City and Rancho Mirage. The bar pours or mixes your drinks as you dig into a heaping plate of nachos or munch on an East Coast-Style Giant Pretzel with smoked bacon, beer cheese sauce, and house mustard. The menu offers sharable plates, entrees, and tempura-fried Oreo cookies for dessert. aguacalientecasinos.com
Ride like the wind.
Palm Springs Air Museum houses more than 50 military aircraft. Many still fly, and guests can even book a ride on one of the warbirds. No license is required to pilot a jet in one of the museum’s flight simulators. palmspringsairmuseum.org
Get your art and design fix.
The cultural nucleus of the Coachella Valley, Palm Springs Art Museum has a wide-reaching permanent collection of 12,000 objects rooted in modern and contemporary art, and the nearby Architecture and Design Center is housed in a former bank designed by E. Stewart Williams. psmuseum.org
Look at the stars.
Access the state-of-the-art Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory’s online programming regarding distant galaxies through their YouTube channel. ranchomiragelibrary.org
This article appears in the Fall/Winter 2021-2022 edition of Me Yah Whae, a publication of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. To view the digital edition, click HERE.