The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians retains ownership of three canyons in the lower slopes of the San Jacinto Mountains that contain extensive groves of fan palms (Washingtonia filifera), California's only native species of palm. Visitors may view the trees by ambling the foot paths or taking guided trail hikes. From the entrance gate, a paved road leads to a parking lot overlooking Palm Canyon, which shelters California's largest fan palm grove, comprising some 3,000 trees. The main grove extends 2mi back into the 15mi-long canyon and smaller groves flourish at intervals farther upstream. An easy trail traverses the sandy area in the shade of the trees, becoming more challenging as it ascends the narrow, upper reaches of the canyon frequented by peninsular bighorn sheep.The path leading to smaller but equally lush Andreas Canyona (turn right 100yds past entrance gate and continue .8mi) winds around boulders that have rolled down from the canyon wall above. The trail through more remote Murray Canyon (1mi trail from parking lot at Andreas Canyon) crosses an area of unshaded, low vegetation until it suddenly comes upon a dense stand of palms growing in a rocky stream bed.
Address:S. Palm Canyon Dr., 92264 Palm Springs
Price:free of charge