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Guide to Palm Springs Outdoors

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Palm Springs has long been a retreat from nearby Los Angeles, for anyone seeking to immerse themselves in the relaxing desert pace of life for a while. If you're a nature lover looking for more peace and quiet in the outdoors, rather than exploring the well known spas and shopping delights of the city, don't worry — there is plenty for you to do here!

Good for
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Nature Lover
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Thrifty Traveller

17 Places

3 City Tips

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Map

17 Places

Agua Caliente Indian Canyons

Canyons, Deserts, Parks, Hiking Trails

San Jacinto Mountain

Mountains

Palm Canyon

Canyons, Deserts

Tahquitz Canyon

Canyons

Coachella Valley Preserve

Deserts, Nature & Wildlife Areas

South Lykken Trail

Nature & Wildlife Areas

Palm Springs Art Museum

Art Museums

North Lykken Trail

Hiking Trails

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Tramways

Indian Canyons Hiking Trails

Hiking Trails

Ruth Hardy Park

Parks

Sunrise Park

Parks

Demuth Park

Parks

Big Morongo Canyon Preserve

Nature & Wildlife Areas, Scenic Drives

The Living Desert

Zoos

Shields Date Garden

Farms

Megan S's City Tips

  • Bring a lot of sunscreen and bug spray, plus a hat!
  • If you're coming from Los Angeles or another city, rent a car so you can easily access the natural areas that lie further away from downtown Palm Springs.
  • It gets burning hot in the summer. If your main objective is to hike, you can get better deals and cooler weather in the winter!
  • Save
    Agua Caliente Indian Canyons
    Canyons, Deserts, Parks, Hiking Trails
    See more photos
    Megan S Says:

    The Agua Caliente Indian Canyons are one of the most popular spots in Palm Springs for nature lovers. Wander through the palm trees while you hike through the trails for a few hours. The natural beauty here is worth battling the heat!

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The rangers will give you a guided tour if you ask!
    • There's a restaurant, but if you want to save money (or want more options) bring your own sack lunch.
    • There is a fee here (unlike some other trails), but if you stay longer it's well worth it.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #10 of 134 things to do in Palm Springs
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • The above stars don't reflect the site........just be advised....see below 03/07/2018
    • Hummingbirds! Quiet beauty! 29/06/2018
    • Agua Caliente Indian Canyons
    Address:
    E Palm Canyon Dr
    Palm Springs, Greater Palm Springs, CA 92264-1642
    Phone:
    +1 760-323-6018
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    San Jacinto Mountain
    Mountains
    See more photos
    Megan S Says:

    The mountain itself is beautiful to see from the surrounding trails, but if you can make it up to the top, you'll be rewarded with incredible views too! The top is actually the same place that the tram drops you off, but hiking rather than riding here adds another layer to the experience. Keep a sharp eye out for all of the wildlife around as well, there's a ton to see here!

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • If visiting in the summer, you must start hiking early in the morning! It gets too hot once the sun is in full force.
    • Some hikers arrive at sunrise — the views are spectacular.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 134 things to do in Palm Springs
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • beautiful view 06/08/2018
    • Take the tram to the top! 31/07/2018
    • San Jacinto Mountain
    Address:
    Mountain Station
    Palm Springs, Greater Palm Springs, CA
    Phone:
    +1 909-659-2607
    Other:
  • Save
    Palm Canyon
    Canyons, Deserts
    See more photos
    Megan S Says:

    Walk through the large palm tree forest and wander the tranquil trails of Palm Canyon. It's a great getaway in the desert that showcases the range of plants native to this climate.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The trails are generally easy, except for a few steep climbs — not a challenging trail, but not as flat as some others in the area.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 134 things to do in Palm Springs
    • Great hike! Sheep & rattlesnakes :) 10/04/2018
    • Still my favorite hiking spot. 06/03/2018
    • Palm Canyon
    Phone:
    +1 800-790-3398
    Other:
  • Save
    Tahquitz Canyon
    Canyons
    See more photos
    Megan S Says:

    Hike through this breathtaking canyon to the ultimate reward at the end — a 40 foot waterfall! Different from the other desert trails in Palm Springs, this cool canyon offers beautiful scenery en route.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Hidden Gems
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • There is an admission fee, so bring cash with you.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #12 of 134 things to do in Palm Springs
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • worth it! 06/08/2018
    • Not Really Worth the Hike 06/08/2018
    • Tahquitz Canyon
    Address:
    500 W Mesquite Ave
    Palm Springs, Greater Palm Springs, CA 92264-8391
    Phone:
    +1 760-416-7044
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Coachella Valley Preserve
    Deserts, Nature & Wildlife Areas
    See more photos
    Megan S Says:

    The Coachella Valley Preserve is truly an oasis in Palm Springs. Enjoy the cooler micro climate and surrounding nature. You'll see the San Andreas fault line, water reserves, and plenty of birds as well!

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Ask at the visitor's center for information on the area's wildlife and nature.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #9 of 134 things to do in Palm Springs
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • There's an oasis in the desert! 06/08/2018
    • Surprise! 23/07/2018
    • Coachella Valley Preserve
    Address:
    29200 Thousand Palms Canyon Road
    Palm Springs, Greater Palm Springs, CA
    Phone:
    +1 760-343-1234
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    South Lykken Trail
    Nature & Wildlife Areas
    See more photos
    Megan S Says:

    This hike is a great workout, and leads to a resting area at the end with picnic tables where you can sit and enjoy the view.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Get an early start to beat the heat!
    • There is a city shuttle that runs here if you don't have a car.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #13 of 134 things to do in Palm Springs
    • BEST TRAIL IN PALM SPRINGS (INOW WITH MORE SHEEP!) 23/05/2018
    • Vista of downtown Palm Springs 30/03/2018
    • South Lykken Trail
    Address:
    El Estero
    Palm Springs, Greater Palm Springs, CA
  • Save
    Palm Springs Art Museum
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Megan S Says:

    While the Art Museum itself may not be the most outdoorsy spot, there's a trailhead right behind the parking lot that will lead you on a steep hike to a beautiful view. And best of all — it's free!

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Walk behind the museum and you'll see the start of the trail at the back of the parking lot.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #8 of 134 things to do in Palm Springs
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Thash bags as art? 14/08/2018
    • surprising collection! 06/08/2018
    • Palm Springs Art Museum
    Address:
    101 N Museum Dr
    Palm Springs, Greater Palm Springs, CA 92262-5659
    Phone:
    +1 760-322-4800
    Hours:
    Thu
    12:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    Fri - Tue
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    North Lykken Trail
    Hiking Trails
    See more photos
    Megan S Says:

    Many people start their trek here with the South Lykken Trail. If you do, you can continue on from the viewing point to the North Lykken trail. You'll follow the trail down behind the dam, and eventually end at another spot with picnic tables.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • It's best to take the shuttle instead of driving - this trail is rarely done as a loop, so you won't end up where you started!
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #47 of 134 things to do in Palm Springs
    • Hot and challenging 08/07/2018
    • Amazing view! 22/05/2018
    • North Lykken Trail
    Address:
    Ramon Road
    Belardo Rd. & Ramon Rd.
    Palm Springs, Greater Palm Springs, CA 92262
  • Save
    Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
    Tramways
    See more photos
    Megan S Says:

    Palm Springs' most popular attraction, the tramway takes you in a cable car over the mountain to a beautiful viewing point.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Feeling really athletic? You can hike up and take the tram down!
    • On a budget? Bring a lunch to eat at the picnic tables up top!
    • The trail can only be hiked in spring and fall due to the weather conditions.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 134 things to do in Palm Springs
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Disappointing communication 15/08/2018
    • Cool Place to Visit When it’s 115 Degrees in the Desert 14/08/2018
    • Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
    Address:
    1 Tramway Rd
    Palm Springs, Greater Palm Springs, CA 92262-1828
    Phone:
    +1 760-325-1391
    Other:
  • Save
    Indian Canyons Hiking Trails
    Hiking Trails
    See more photos
    Megan S Says:

    The hiking trails surrounding the Indian Canyon area are beautiful. While walking through, not only will you get to see the gorgeous natural environment, but you'll be surrounded by Native American history.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Get information in the visitor center before you set off, so you know what to look out for!
    • The entrance is cheaper than most of the other hiking areas in Palm Springs.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 134 things to do in Palm Springs
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • indian canyon 07/08/2018
    • Stunning trails - explore the outdoor active lifestly of Palm Springs! 23/06/2018
    • Indian Canyons Hiking Trails
    Address:
    S.Palm Canyon Drive
    Palm Springs, Greater Palm Springs, CA
    Phone:
    +1 760-323-6018
    Other:
  • Save
    Ruth Hardy Park
    Parks
    See more photos
    Megan S Says:

    Ruth Hardy Park is full of pleasant, relaxing spots where you can cool off in the shade with your entire family. No hiking is necessary, and it's perfect for picnicking.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Looking for a workout? Check out The Wellness Park on the west side!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #29 of 134 things to do in Palm Springs
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • One Of My Favorite Parks In The City 29/05/2018
    • Named after one of the most important pioneer women in Palm Springs. 12/04/2018
    • Ruth Hardy Park
    Address:
    700 Tamarisk St. at Avenue of Caballeros
    Palm Springs, Greater Palm Springs, CA
    Phone:
    +1 760-323-8272
    Other:
  • Save
    Sunrise Park
    Parks
    Megan S Says:

    This beautiful park is great for getting out and enjoying the sun, whatever your age. There are plenty of areas for kids to play, but what makes it really worthwhile are the free concerts in the summer. Wonderful entertainment outdoors for budget travelers!

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Thrifty Traveller
    Tips
    • Look up the dates of the big, annual summer concert — it's free!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #113 of 134 things to do in Palm Springs
    • 38 acres of wonderfulness 03/05/2018
    • Not Safe Here !!! 22/05/2017
    • Sunrise Park
    Address:
    East Ramon and Sourth Sunrise Way
    Palm Springs, Greater Palm Springs, CA 92262
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Demuth Park
    Parks
    Megan S Says:

    The perfect place for kids and adults to come and play, a small area here acts as a 'water park' to help kids keep cool in the heat. There is also plenty of room for bike riding, as well as tennis courts that can be used for free.

    Good for
    • Family
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Ask an employee about all of the equipment on offer — they're usually happy to show you to all of the different courts, and the indoor gymnasium that you can use.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #64 of 134 things to do in Palm Springs
    • Great little park 12/07/2018
    • Pickleball Courts 04/03/2018
    • Demuth Park
    Address:
    4365 E Mesquite Ave
    Palm Springs, Greater Palm Springs, CA 92264-3477
    Phone:
    +1 760-323-8272
  • Save
    Big Morongo Canyon Preserve
    Nature & Wildlife Areas, Scenic Drives
    See more photos
    Megan S Says:

    Many miss this hidden gem located out towards Joshua Tree, but it's well worth a stop off. The nature and wildlife surrounding it is incredible, and it's accessible for any age or fitness level. Plus, best of all, it's free!

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • They offer wheelchair accessible trails throughout the preserve - unlike any of the other areas!
    • If you plan ahead, you can book a horseback riding tour!
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 6 things to do in Morongo Valley
    • Great wheelchair accessible boardwalk 22/04/2018
    • Nice walk! Didn't see any animals though 10/04/2018
    • Big Morongo Canyon Preserve
    Address:
    From I-10 take Route 62 to East Drive
    Morongo Valley, CA
    Phone:
    +1 760-363-7190
    Other:
  • Save
    The Living Desert
    Zoos
    See more photos
    Megan S Says:

    The Living Desert is like the entire natural desert all in one miniature version for you to enjoy. You'll see incredible nature within these gardens, as well as beautiful animals in the zoo (most of which aren't even in cages, a major plus). An educational and fascinating stop for families!

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • You can sign up for a "behind-the-scenes" tour!
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 66 things to do in Palm Desert
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • LOVE the Living Desert 12/08/2018
    • Great Day in the desert 11/08/2018
    • The Living Desert
    Address:
    47900 Portola Ave
    Palm Desert, Greater Palm Springs, CA 92260-6156
    Phone:
    +1 760-346-5694
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    8:00 AM - 1:30 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Shields Date Garden
    Farms
    See more photos
    Megan S Says:

    Palm Springs is famous for its dates, and no Palm Springs trip is complete without stopping for one of its famous date shakes! A great, and cool reward after hiking around the hot desert, that's for sure.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • There's a miniature theater onsite where you can learn all about the dates.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 18 things to do in Indio
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Two trips 08/08/2018
    • Every Kind of Date You Can Imagine! 06/08/2018
    • Shields Date Garden
    Address:
    80225 US Highway 111
    Indio, Greater Palm Springs, CA 92201-6538
    Phone:
    +1 800-414-2555
    Price range:
    US$5 - US$5
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
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