Windmills outside of Palm Springs
The first thing on our agenda was checking into the Pool House hotel, which recently opened in March 2010. The hotel only has six rooms which are situated around the pool. Our room was clean and gorgeously decked out in black and white modern decor. We felt like the only ones at the hotel--we had the pool virtually to ourselves!
Next, we headed off to the Palm Canyon Trail in Indian Canyon. The trail is rated "moderate". It is a bit sandy, mostly level, and shady. The scenery reminds me of Land of the Lost, and I was just waiting for a giant mosquito to land on Brad's shoulder. We wandered off the trail a bit and did some rock scrambling, then went back the way we came. There were a lot of people on this trail, young and old. The trail is 15 miles long, but there is a loop that you can take if you don't feel like doing the whole thing. We spent around 2-3 hours there.
The next day we came back to Indian Canyon to hike the lesser-traveled Murray Canyon trail. Even though this trail was rated "easy", I thought it was actually more difficult than the Palm Canyon one due to around ten stream crossings. The trail ends at a waterfall and then you turn back the way you came. It is 4 miles total and took us about 2 hours with all of the detours we took. Although some would say that this hike was not as "majestic" as the Palm Canyon hike, I actually enjoyed it more due to the lack of hikers and the wide variety of landscape ranging from the palm lined river to the barren mountains studded with rocky outcroppings.
The other reason for our visit was to go star gazing, but unfortunately the sky was cloudy that night. Another time! There are so many sides to Palm Springs--you can sit around and lounge by the pool all day, you can visit the mid-century modern furniture shops on the main drag, or you can take in the rugged desert beauty on a hike. I really enjoyed this first trip to the desert, and I can't wait to go again--perhaps to Joshua tree next time!
Here are links to the places we visited:
Brad on top of a waterfall (detour off the Palm Canyon Trail)
The road to Indian Canyon