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Top Rated Attractions in Palm Springs

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Indian Canyons

Spread alongside the zigzagging South Palm Canyon Drive, the Indian Canyons have been the ancestral homes of the Cahuilla Indians' Agua Caliente Band for nearly a millennium. Revered by local Native Americans, these beautiful canyons are treasured by scientists and paleontologists for its vivid rock artwork and petroglyphs that offer insight into tribal life. A much-needed getaway from the sometimes glitzy atmosphere of Palm Springs, the sparkling streams, and the untamed arid wilderness allows its visitors to be one with nature. A phenomenon named the 'Witch of Tahquitz Canyon' can be occasionally spotted here, which is essentially an eerie shadow cast on the slopes of the canyon.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

A thrilling cable car ride shuttles visitors from the desert floor to the heights of Mt. San Jacinto—you might experience a 40-degree temperature drop in just a few minutes. While many visitors just hop up for the view, it can be a starting point for many outdoor activities like hiking and mule rides. At the top, you’ll also find a cocktail bar and restaurant with stunning views.

Coachella Valley

Covering a stretch of about 45 miles (72 kilometers), the Coachella Valley is straddled between San Bernardino Mountains and Salton Sea. Stretching to about 15 miles (24 kilometers), the valley connects Los Angeles region with Union Pacific Railroad, and is one of the most thickly populated areas in the county. Popular tourist attractions such as the Palm Desert and Palm Springs are a part of this beautiful region.

Tahquitz Canyon

If you're into hiking and trailing, then don't miss out on Tahquitz Canyon. Embark on an adventure into this 2-mile loop trail which leads to the 60 foot Tahquitz waterfall. The path here is rocky, steep and has many rock steps to climb, so be sure to leave that fancy footwear behind and get proper hiking gear. You can either go by yourself or opt for a ranger directed guided trail, which can be up to 2.5 hours. The elevation here is up to 350 feet, so expect beautiful scenic views.

Mount San Jacinto

Nestled in the sprawling San Jacinto State Park, the imposing San Jacinto peak towers over the fascinating landscape of Palm Springs Desert. Touted to be one of the most prominent peaks of the country, the mountain is marvelously mottled with craggy corrugations and sweeping escarpments. The mountain is traversed by an an array of crisscrossing trails and trams, its spectacular summit affording astounding views of the charming desert terrain beneath. A wonderland for the intrepid hiker, this imposing peak is a breathtaking, snow-glazed canopy come winter. Its pinnacle dotted with outhouses, the mountain is draped in indigenous Californian oak and pine, only further accentuated by a startlingly beautiful gradation of its neighboring environs.

Coachella Valley Preserve

Located within close proximity to Palm Springs, Coachella Valley Preserve is a natural gem sprawling over 1000 acres (404 hectares). The preserve's visitor center, called the 'Palm House', offers an intriguing exhibition of photographs and curated items. From there on, a trail to McCallum Oasis reveals a wealth of natural wonders like a serene pond and verdant landscape that beautifully contrasts the deserted surroundings. Further is the Moon Country that attracts a large array of exotic flora and fauna. The preserve is one of the few habitats in the world that harbor the fringe-toed lizard, as well as some rare birds, shrubs and vegetation. The hike is family-friendly and a conquerable feat for amateurs as well. The preserve's viewpoint provides great vistas of Joshua Tree National Park, Little San Bernardino Mountains, and the San Gorgonio Peak. Accentuated by the rolling Indio Hills, the preserve harbors various significant sites such as the Thousand Palm Oasis as well as the Paul Wilhelm Grove.

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