You have to get up pretty early in the morning to enjoy the great outdoors in the desert summer. We’ve been there, done that, and discovered beauty most people never see. Here are some of our favorite ideas. Remember to dress light, take water, give yourself breaks, and plan to finish by 10 a.m. Here we go.
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Lace up for Bear Creek Trail, a 4.75-mile La Quinta route that includes a 1.6-mile oasis loop and a 1.5-mile stretch along the wash and mountains with sweeping vistas of Martinez Mountain and the Santa Rosa Mountains and foothills.
Salute the Mighty Sun
Hold your mountain pose in full view of majestic San Jacinto Mountain at Yoga in the Park, an hourlong class offered by Power Yoga Palm Springs Saturdays at 8 a.m. at the Wellness Park in Palm Springs. (Suggested $10 donation benefits local charities.)
Take a Dip
Get your cardio in refreshing fashion: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. Palm Springs Swim Center and Palm Desert Aquatic Center open for lap swimming at 5:30 a.m. weekdays and 7 a.m. on weekends, and John H. Furbee Aquatics Center in Desert Hot Springs opens weekdays from 6 to 8 a.m.
See Modern Architecture
Take a walking tour of historic inns in the Palm Springs Tennis Club District or ride a bicycle to iconic landmarks around town.
Spot Wild Birds
Take binoculars and a guidebook to Big Morongo Canyon Preserve, a popular birding site with 254 species recorded. Located southeast of Morongo Valley in the Little San Bernardino Mountains, the preserve opens daily at 7:30 a.m. Dogs, bikes, camping, and firearms are prohibited.
Find an Oasis
Traverse the San Andreas Fault en route to Willis Palms Trail, a 3.81-mile loop in the Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve at the northern edge of Indio Hills. Water from the springs along the fault feeds the seeps, creeks, and ponds in the preserve, which opens at 7 a.m.