The Palm Springs area has long been described as Hollywood’s playground. Today, this desert oasis of relaxation, excitement, adventure, and wonder, is your playground too.
Hiking in the Palm Springs Valley
I’ve been hiking a lot lately. Spring has arrived this year with particular vividness. Wildflowers and cacti are blooming in profusion. The azure sky is dotted with billowy clouds scudding eastward. Snow mantels the high peaks. The temperature in the mid to high 70s degrees Fahrenheit is perfect for hitting the trails.
All you need is a good pair of hiking boots, comfortable loose-fitting clothing, and a hat. I use a hiking pole holiday gift from my son-mostly for show and swagger but it occasionally comes in handy on a steep incline. Bottled water is a must. Three bottles for two hours on the trail is what I need so a small backpack helps unless you don’t mind your pockets bulging with bottles.
Plan ahead. Get Philip Ferranti’s book 140 Great Hikes in and Near Palm Springs (Big Earth Publishing) and select a trail that is appropriate for your physical condition. The levels of difficulty are described as Easy, Moderate, and Strenuous. If you are fit and exercise regularly you are ready for Strenuous. If not Easy and Moderate hikes are for you. I have not yet attempted a Strenuous hike and I exercise regularly with a personal trainer and am in good shape for a sixty-plus guy. Easy is basically a walk and there are a lot, described in detail, in Philip’s book. Two of Philips’ favorites are the Big Split Rock Slot Canyon Walkabout in the Mecca Hills and the Pacific Crest Trail Ridge Loop in the Whitewater Preserve in Whitewater Canyon.
I can’t get enough of Tahquitz Canyon, part of The Indian Canyons owned and expertly managed by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. Tahquitz is accessed just south of downtown Palm Springs. There’s an entrance fee but it’s worth it and if you stay at a Rancho Mirage resort you get a TOP SPOT Discount Card that provides $2.50 off the regular $12.50 adult admission price. It’s an easy walk to the falls. For me, they are the cathedral experience of the desert. You might chat with a friend as you amble to the cascade but once there I promise you’ll lower your voice and speak in a hushed tone. Folks lounge on the boulders at the foot of the falls and gaze at the sculptural elegance of one giant white bolder emerging from the dark pool at the base of the falls.
No matter what types of activities bring your family together, you’ll find fantastic fun everywhere you turn across the Palm Springs Resort Communities. Whether you’ve got kids or you’re a kid at heart, there’s fun for everyone in the Palm Springs area. Here are some things to do just to name a few lounging around the pool, spending a day at the waterpark, golf, tennis, hiking, biking, sightseeing, shopping, off-road tours, off-road wheeling, horseback riding, a ride in a hot air balloon, a flight in a vintage biplane and much, much more! So grab your sneakers, your swimsuit or just your sense of adventure. Here in the Desert, fun is what we’re about indoors and out.
When families finally get to take a vacation, many are looking for a place where they can spend more time doing activities together and less time traveling from place to place. If you are looking for that perfect family destination, consider booking a room at Marriott’s Shadow Ridge, known for its scenic mountain views and attractions in Palm Desert and Palm Springs, CA.
Families can enjoy fun in the sun at Shadow Ridge. For those who love water, there are heated pools and whirlpools. For the kids, Chuckawalla Pool with its waterslide is onsite. In addition, the children will certainly appreciate the activity center with its very own arcade.
Of course, the golfers in the family will be happy that there’s a challenging 18-hole golf course on-site as well as six other golf courses nearby. It’s easy to play a little golf in the morning and return in the afternoon for swimming, arcades, or even a little tennis with the family. There are four tennis courts on site.
Energetic vacationers will enjoy the biking and hiking trails nearby. Horseback riding, a popular family activity, is just 10.5 miles from the hotel. Also, with just a short drive, your family can enjoy shopping, museums, and even rock climbing.