Last month we wanted to get out of the cold weather and we had a few Southwest points to use so where else would we go in the middle of winter but Palm Springs? I’m still working on my list of everything that we did that weekend but I wanted to go ahead and share our hiking adventure to the Coachella Valley Preserve. This beautiful desert oasis is just outside Palm Springs and it was FREE!
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Coachella Valley Preserve
Our directions ended up not being the best. We could have just driven straight out of Palm Springs on Ramon Road. But we ended up getting on the freeway and taking the Washington Street exit. Once we turned on Thousand Palms Canyon Road we saw a trailhead and lots of cars. I’d read that there wasn’t much parking so I wasn’t too surprised how small it was. Turned out this wasn’t the place we were supposed to be. But we didn’t know and we hiked out the the palm oasis that we could see.
Aren’t these palm trees interesting? There was a fire there a few years ago and it scorched the trunks. And also cleaned up the underbrush in this area.
Just from looking at the first photo you won’t get a feel of what this area truly looks like. So I wanted to include this next photo to show you what the trail TO this palm oasis looked like. It was about a half mile desert hike out to the palm oasis.
On our way back we got “lost”. Luckily hiking in the desert means that you can usually see where you need to go. We ran into a park volunteer who asked if we hiked from the palm house. What?!? That was when we figured out we were in the wrong place. He told us to drive a little further up the road.
The next desert oasis was much closer to the road. There was much more parking but it was full so we still parked on the road.
This is what those first trees would have looked like before the fire.
One of the volunteers told us that this desert oasis was possible because the San Andreas Fault brought the water line much closer to the surface here. Nice… we hiked on a fault line and didn’t even know it!
Here’s a link to the map. Willis Palms Loop is the first hike we went on. Altogether we spent about 2 hours here. It would be easy to spend a lot more time but we wanted to go to Joshua Tree National Park on the same day… that’s a lot to see!
Coachella Valley Preserve, 29200 Thousand Palms Canyon Road, Palm Springs.
If you enjoyed reading about the Coachella Valley Preserve, you might also like these articles:
- Our 5 Favorite Berkeley Thrift Stores
- Our Arizona Road Trip Playlist
- Joshua Tree National Park (coming soon)
- Things to do in Palm Springs on a Budget (coming soon)
- 5 Amazing Palm Springs Desert Hikes
This was probably my favorite thing from our weekend trip to Palm Springs… or maybe it was the hot tub at the hotel after the hike. Either way, I highly recommend a desert hike to the palm oasis in Coachella Valley Preserve!
‘Til the next trip,