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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    2,669

    Palm Springs-Indio day trip ideas

    Staying for a week near Indio next week and hoping some people here can steer me toward some day adventures. Planning on Josua Tree and a few golf rounds for sure but we don't know shit about the area other than it won't be raining like PDX. Easily accessed slot canyon type exploring would be awesome. Kids are all adults now so much easier than dragging little peeps around.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    50 miles E of Paradise
    Posts
    13,930
    Go hiking in Palm Canyon. An amazing oasis in the middle of the desert. I think the Tribe that owns that land is the richest in the country

    We took a tour there with a guy named Scott Scott. His company is Trail Discovery. He had an incredible knowledge of the area, and had stuff (animal skeletons, native foods, tools) cached around to emphasize points during the hike.

    It looks like he shut it down due to the pandemic but maybe there’s a way to get in touch. He has a LinkedIn profile https://www.linkedin.com/in/scottscott/

    If not, there are maps at the visitor center

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Spokane/Schweitzer
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    6,590
    Ladder hike is a fun, slot canyon type of hike. It's not super long but kind of cool. Other than that, Murray Hill hike is a good one. There are some others but those would be my recommendations for a couple decent hikes.

    https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/c...anyon-trail--4

    https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/c...rray-hill-loop

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Gallatin County
    Posts
    1,423
    Bear Creek Oasis is a nice longer hike out of the La Quinta Cove with views of the Salton Sea and Mt San Jacinto that doesn't involve paying access fees.

    Driving up CA 74 and do a section of the Pacific Crest Trail is fun. Check conditions as snow is common at the higher elevations in winter.

    The Palm Springs Air Museum has a large display of aircraft and a large library of manuals if you have interest in aviation.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    People's Republic of OB
    Posts
    3,517
    +1 on the hikes mentioned. Painted (Ladder) Canyon is awesome. https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...er#post5640128

    If you do Painted Canyon, take a drive around the Salton Sea and check out Slab City as well. If you still have time, you can loop around and check out Anza Borrego state park. Without 4x4 you'll be a bit limited off pavement but the Slot off Hwy 78 doesn't take much time and is a super cool slot canyon (see last 8-10 pics of post #9 in this TR: https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...ot#post5643037). Drive the loop into Borrego Springs and check out the cool sculptures. There is a decent taco shop in Borrego plus a few restaurants.

    https://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/638/f..._Map201704.pdf


    Closer to Palm Springs you can take the Aerial Tram up to Mt San Jacinto. Play in the snow, snowshoe or have dinner at the restaurant.

    When you go to Joshua Tree, if you do the drive as a loop through Yucca Valley on Hwy 62, stop at Pioneertown. Pappy & Harriets there has live music Fri/Sat nights if that fits your schedule.

    Another cool drive is up and around Hwy 74/243 to Idyllwild and then down to Banning. Good food at Paradise Valley Cafe (Hwys 74 at 371) and in Idyllwild.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2,669
    Slab city was the only other thing other than Joshua Tree In want to check out for me. I was always intrigued after reading about it in , "In to the Wild". Lot of great ideas, keep in coming.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Posts
    1,876
    The Tram is super cool and a must-do. It's identical or similar to the tram in Engleberg in that it rotates on the way up and there is only 2 in the world like this, i think. And it has about 6000' vert. There's a bar and restaurant at top and some mellow hikes on top too.

    This place would be cool to see live music from, it's worth the drive if you like the music playing
    https://www.reddogpioneertown.com/events

    29 palms is worth a stop for lunch, and maybe shopping, eccentricities, etc and if you like Gram Parsons you can visit where he died in some hotel there. Joshua Tree NP is of course worth a whole day, and if you feel adventurous go to Slab City. Or be more chill nearby at Salvation Mountain for outsider art; outside. Long drive past Salton Seas to get there though IMO from PS.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2,669
    Anyone know of natural hot springs in the area ? Not a spa, someplace to soak outside.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Redwood City
    Posts
    1,703

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Ventura Highway in the Sunshine
    Posts
    22,374
    You can take the tram up and hike down...it is a long hike. Tons of hikes I'm J-Tree, long or short, or just go cross-country into Womdrrland of rocks, but bring a compass, tan rocks all look a like. There are short hikes around Thousand Palms oasis, but can be a tourist cluster fuck, especially on weekends. For a longer way less visited palm oasis head to the Pushwalla grove east to Thousand Plams. Not as big, but much more secluded. If you climb, hundreds of routes in J-Tree, or go to Taquitz Rock near Idyllwild. Some really nice granite (for southern California) with lots of climbing history.

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    People's Republic of OB
    Posts
    3,517
    Quote Originally Posted by fatnslow View Post
    Anyone know of natural hot springs in the area ? Not a spa, someplace to soak outside.
    The only good one I know of is along I-8 at Holtville, probably an hour south of Slab City. Not exactly a natural setting as its like a concrete pool and right next to the freeway, but is under some palm trees at least. Gets cleaned on Tuesdays.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Babylon
    Posts
    12,675
    Not quite an hour west of Indio is Forest Falls and the rest of the San Bernardino National Forest and The San Gorgonio Wilderness
    If you are feeling spicy Mt San Gorgonio tops out @ over 11 K.

    Went to college in Redlands so spent a fair amount of time there.....
    If driving west of the Springs and Indio, stop at Cucas for killer mexican food.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2,669
    Thanks everyone, some great suggestions so far. I'm thinking Painted Canyon, Salvation mountain/Slab City , Palm Canyon and ladder hike so far. I like to be kind of fluid on vacation due to my dad's insistence on AAA guide book vacation planning as a kid. He had to hit all 78 spots , take a photo and head to the next place.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Making the Bowl Great Again
    Posts
    13,649
    Any chance you're golfing Sunday the 18th? I'll be down there for a (booze-fueled) tourney and looking for a game before my 3:30 flight that day.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    valley of the heart's delight
    Posts
    1,977
    I'd suggest looking for Bill Ewasko, and a couple canyons I don't think anyone looked in yet, but it seems he's been found.
    https://www.crossville-chronicle.com...15d76f958.html
    (I'm trying to figure out where he was found, as I've spent more than a few hours poring over maps and the known details)

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    People's Republic of OB
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    3,517
    This won't help you locate where he was found, but might be of interest and will show you where he wasn't - blog by one of the original search team members who personally did 40+ trips back to search on his own time. https://www.otherhand.org/home-page/...r-bill-ewasko/

    I posted a link to his blog in the plane crash thread.... this is the same guy who finally found the Death Valley Germans and the remaining debris of an A-12 spy plane.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Posts
    1,876
    If you are going to Slab City and if you don't know what you are getting into - I recommend being outgoing and interacting with any local you see. Otherwise you are just driving around staring at places and it's a weird place to be. it's a bit lawless out there and remote so it's intimidating, but we found some welcoming people easily. try to invite yourself into one of the odd buildings to see how 'they' live. RVers there are a different story though.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    valley of the heart's delight
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    1,977
    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post
    This won't help you locate where he was found, but might be of interest and will show you where he wasn't - blog by one of the original search team members who personally did 40+ trips back to search on his own time. https://www.otherhand.org/home-page/...r-bill-ewasko/

    I posted a link to his blog in the plane crash thread.... this is the same guy who finally found the Death Valley Germans and the remaining debris of an A-12 spy plane.
    Bill was found very near here Click image for larger version. 

Name:	binocs1.jpg 
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ID:	437639 Those weather beaten binoculars bottom left were his. Half mile from the park road. Photo by the otherhand guy you reference.

    Anyone needing to kill some time should check out the otherhand blog, he writes well.

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