Indian Canyons – Palm Springs

Park Location:   Located on Agua Caliente tribal land in Palm Springs, CA.

On our trip to Palm Springs a couple of weeks ago, we had the chance to hike in Indian Canyons.  Centuries ago, ancestors of the Agua Caliente Cahuilla (pronounced Kaw-we-ah) Indians settled in the Palm Springs area and developed extensive and complex communities in Palm, Murray, Andreas, Tahquitz and Chino Canyons.  We had time to hike in Palm and Andreas Canyons.

Palm Canyon is fifteen miles long and has and abundance of Washingtonia filifera (California Fan palm trees).  In fact, it is considered the world’s largest native California Fan Palm oasis.  We certainly didn’t have time to hike all fifteen miles, but we at least got a flavor of the canyon.  Palm Canyon was originally the ancestral home of the Atcitcem Clan (People of Good).  Some more information about the history of the canyon:


Below is our hike as mapped out by Map My Hike.

Palm Canyon

We parked at the trailhead near the trading post.  It was very interesting to look across and into the canyon and see nothing but desert and rocks but down in the bottom of the canyon were lush green palm trees.


We hiked down into the canyon and were soon hiking right next to the tall California Fan palms.



We came to the central part of the oasis where there was water running down a small stream.  The stream provided for some nice reflection pictures.



We continued on down the trail.  A shot of me heading down the trail.



Looking up on hillside a short distance away was a nice grove of trees.


A different perspective of the trees and their size by looking straight up into a grove of them.





The fan palms produce an elliptical black berry, with thin, sweetish, edible pulp. The fruit of the fan palm was eaten raw, cooked, or ground into flour for cakes by the Native Americans.



Some close ups of the plant growth along the trail and another close up of the palms.






When the branches (fronds) of the palm die they remain attached and drop down to cloak the trunk in a wide skirt. The shelter that the skirt creates provides a microhabitat for many small birds and invertebrates.  Here is a good example of one of the skirts.



A replica of a shelter that the Agua Caliente Cahuilla Indians probably lived in.



We hiked up out of Palm Canyon and drove over to the Andreas Canyon trailhead to check that out.  Andreas Canyon was the ancestral home of the Paniktum Clan (People of Daylight).  Some additional information about this particular canyon:



Below is our hike as mapped out by Map My Hike.

Andreas Canyon


We headed down the trail to explore this canyon.



A shot of the stream flowing through the canyon.



One of the lizards we saw while hiking along the trail.


A shot up on the hill of a building with a few fan palms around it.


The trail crossed the stream and headed up higher above the canyon floor on the other side, providing for some nice views back down the canyon.  Here’s a shot of Lisa hiking along the trail.


A look across the canyon with palms bordering the small stream.


We looped back to the car and headed back into town.  We will have to come back and explore the other two canyons in the area, Murray Canyon and Tahquitz Canyon.


6 thoughts on “Indian Canyons – Palm Springs

  1. Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like those Californian Pines. I’m intrigued, it looks like it may have been very dry and hot there – was it?

    • This was in Palm Springs, California which is a desert. The temperature was nice when we were there in mid-January in the mid to upper 70’s F. I wouldn’t want to be there in the summer – average temperatures then are 104 – 108 degrees F!

      • Mid to upper 70’s sounds comfortable. I can’t quite imagine what 108 degrees is like, but I’m sure I wouldn’t like it.

    • I also wanted to thank you for following my blog! I have been blogging friends with Andy (surfnslide) for a while. I always enjoy reading his blogs and he mentioned you in one of his last postings so I took a look at yours as well. I’m looking forward to more of your postings as well!

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