The fantastic weather, the beautiful lush wilderness and the fascinating topography make Palm Springs the ideal outdoor vacation destination.
Greater Palm Springs in California is home to incredible, unique landscapes, and as we hiked, biked, rode horses and hot-air ballooned around the area, we found it to be the ultimate paradise for nature lovers.
A Hiker’s Heaven
We soon found out the Palm Springs area has an abundance of hiking trails. We began our hiking adventures at Indian Canyons. With its waterfalls at Tahquitz Canyon and large collection of fan palm trees in Palm Canyon, it was not only lush and beautiful, but the trails offer many historical and culturally significant sites to explore. As we started our hike, we were greeted by a friendly ranger who guided us on a walk as he explained the long history of the Agua Caliente Indians on this land. There are many hike options in length and difficulty for both amateur and experienced hikers. You can also horseback ride through the canyons on certain trails.
The famous Joshua Tree National Park was as beautiful as we had expected and incredibly peaceful. We hiked and biked a few of its 12 self-guided trails by day and camped there for the night. Perhaps most surprisingly, the gateway to great hikes exists right in the heart of Palm Springs at the Aerial Tramway. It is the world’s largest rotating tram car and it takes you up Chino Canyon, almost two kilometers, to access the most breathtaking mountaintop views of the valley below.
Explore The Fault Lines
As a first-time visitor to Palm Springs, I had no idea the San Andreas Fault goes right through the area and is responsible for creating the mountainous topography. There are several ways to explore this fascinating natural feature, including by Jeep and Hummer tours, where you can get right up close to the tectonic plate meeting point. Or, you can soar above it all by taking a hot-air balloon tour either at sunrise or sunset to see all the panoramic views of the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa mountain ranges.
Golf and Tennis for All
You can certainly never get bored if you come to play golf or tennis in Palm Springs with its 150 courses and 600 courts. The area also hosts several top golf tournaments, such as the Humana Challenge, as well as the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament. So, if it’s golf or tennis you enjoy, you might want to plan ahead to catch some world-class play and maybe even pick up some style points from the pros.
Whether it’s hiking as a family or playing a round of golf as a couple, Palm Springs should be top of your list for an active outdoor getaway.