We rolled into Palm Springs from LA in the midst of crazy winds! We were wondering how much hiking we'd be able to do without being blown away, but thankfully the following morning dawned sunny and beautiful. The RV park was quite something, it rivaled San Francisco for highest number of RV's packed into a small space. That being said, there were palm trees everywhere and it felt much less like a parking lot.
We prepped for our hike with a stop for sandwiches at Whole Foods. Their deli bar provides a lovely selection of sandwich toppings, which made for a delicious lunch. We drove through the desert to the Joshua Tree National Park, a gorgeous drive spotted with the funky Joshua Trees that are the park's namesake. We had plenty of sun but the wind was cool - which is why we did an impromptu desert dance to warm up before heading off on our hike!
The first trail we explored, The Baker Dam was perfect for the kids. It was just over a mile round trip, with level pathways and lots to see along the way. We viewed some really impressive petroglyphs about 3/4 of the way along the path. Our next stop was the White Tank Campground, where we explored The Arch Rock and wandered through a mix of pathways and large rocks. We didn't put Armand in the backpack this time, it would have been a bit dicey with the climbing involved. Our last stop was a short walk to Cottonwood Spring, a beautiful palm oasis. We drove back home through the sunset, which gave the desert a lovely glow. Juliette did a couple of loads of late night laundry and got into a conversation about Trump with one of the RV park employees. We haven't engaged in political talk much since heading down south, and the conversations we have had have been with friends and family who tend to share the same views. This conversation was a lot more challenging, as the fear card was played and there was lots of arguments made about the danger of refugees and the need to keep boarders safe. We got sucked into all of the election ridiculousness, but were glad of it in this case as Juliette was able to provide some counter arguments to the position presented. Juliette stayed calm and in the end we agreed to disagree before parting ways. It is sad to see how much fear rules people's perspectives at the moment.
The following morning we made our way over to the Indian Canyon, located just outside of Palm Springs. We coated ourselves in a combo of oil and zinc based sunscreen from Living Libations, donned our wide brimmed hats and hit the trails. We walked along the Palm Canyon - the hiking was spectacular, with impressive collections of palm trees and pathways winding through a large canyon. Armand was fascinated by sections of palm trees that had been burnt in a fire several years prior. It was pretty amazing to see new growth peeking out of the top, despite the burn damage on the exterior. Juliette was on the look out for rattlers after seeing a sign advising taking extreme caution due to rattlesnakes in the area. Nothing like a snake phobia to make the experience all warm and fuzzy. The kids really enjoyed exploring a traditional kish, aka Palm Frond Dwelling on site, but the highlight for Dominic was finding a stone mortar etched out of the bedrock. We viewed a lovely waterfall and then made our way to the truck to head back into town. The road wound through a couple of massive boulders barely wide enough for the truck to pass through, which made for a very cool driving experience!
After lunch, we visited the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum. We learned all about basket weaving, information that the girls put to good use to create their own baskets a few days later. We wandered over to the McCallum Adobe House next, where we viewed an abundance of information about famous visitors to Palm Springs over the years. Juliette met one of her mentors for a green juice afterwards, while Dominic took the kids to the park. We had a lovely time in Palm Springs, it is definitely a place we can see spending more time.
Palm Springs Highlights
Joshua Tree National Park - Joshua Tree National Park hosts an abundance of hiking trails that run the gamut from beginner to advanced. We took it easy with the kids, but look forward to trying some of the more challenging trails when they are a bit older!
Indian Canyon - Indian Canyon hosts some spectacular hiking trails, we'd love to come back and explore some more.
Agua Caliente Cultural Museum - a lovely museum located in the heart of Palm Springs, we really enjoyed their current exhibit on basket weaving.
Palm Springs Historical Society - this website contains information about the McCallum Adobe House and other sites in Palm Springs. There is a link to their walking tours, we didn't take part but they looked like a lot of fun.
Raw Remedy Organic Juice & Raw Food Bar - a lovely organic juice bar in Palm Springs. It was unfortunately closed when we tried to go, but we have heard it is amazing! Their menu looks incredible.