Explore Palm Springs: Desert Riders

Social group expands to creating trails still in use today in Greater Palm Springs

Renee Brown History 0 Comments


When the Desert Riders began in 1931, “it was just plain good fun” says Jane Hoff, who has been a member of the riding club since the beginning.

Her father, Carl Lykken, was one of the founding members. Desert Riders was formed so that the members could get together and have a good time.

• More on the Desert Riders, including the celebrities who were members: The Desert Riders

(From left) Clark Gable and Kay Spreckles Gable with Ray Ryan, owner of El Mirador, just before a breakfast ride.

At first it was all social. Members would get together and enjoy one of the only forms of recreation available in the desert. In the early days of the club, the members headed out across the desert and up into the canyons on their horses.

As time went on, Desert Riders members took on the task of preserving Palm Springs’ western lifestyle. They created 28 trails, including many which were adaptations of ancient trails used by the Cahuilla Indians. Many of these trails are still being used by bikers, hikers, and horseback riders today.

There is a multitude of ways to learn more about Palm Springs, which turned 75 in 2013.

One of the more intriguing methods is by exploring the city’s 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. Visit for more information.

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