After a relaxing Valentine’s day, spent lounging around the country club pool, we were ready for our hiking adventure to Indian Canyons. Indian Canyons is part of the Agua Caliente Indian Reserve, and despite the number of visitors each year, it’s kept in pristine natural conditions.
There are a number of hiking trails in the canyons, some very short and easy, some moderate and some long and strenuous. We opted first for the easy one mile Andreas Canyon loop.
The visual combination of skirted fan palms and unique rock formations were interesting and at times breathtaking.
We were told to be alert for rattlesnakes, and as much as I wouldn’t want to come upon one unaware, I’m rather partial to snakes and wouldn’t have minded seeing one or two. But we had to settle for these more benign little creatures.
I actually spotted this colourful guy before Hubby did, for once. (Truthfully, I spotted the young couple who spotted it, but still…)
If you look closely at the hillside, you’ll see numerous small structures, all made of natural stones that blend well with their surroundings.
Back at the picnic area, we had lunch and took a look at some of the displays.
Indian Grinding Mortars
Cahuilla Indian huts
The Murray Canyon hike is rated moderate, two miles in and the same two miles back out. The first half mile was rather underwhelming – nondescript and dusty.
But we soon came to the first oasis and the scenery changed dramatically for the better.
We had to cross Murray Creek plenty of times. This mostly entailed easily skipping across some well-placed rocks.
But some crossings required a long hop from big rock to big rock, which provided a challenge for someone as short as I am. I’m happy to report I didn’t end up going for any icy swims.
Speaking of icy swims, we came across this idyllic little pond, which I imagine might offer a welcome respite in the heat of the summer. But on this very warm day in February, the water was shockingly cold. (Believe me, I checked)
The trail was all uphill, but fairly easy, except for the last half mile or so. We found that part of the hike steep, rocky and strenuous. This photo doesn’t quite convey how precipitous and scrambly the terrain was.
This was the view from the above picture, looking straight down.
And looking out.
But soon enough, the rough patch was behind us and we had arrived at the Seven Sisters waterfalls.
The waterfalls we could see were really small, but apparently the ones in behind can get quite large at times. The sign said stay on the trail and it would’ve required serious rock climbing skills to venture any further. We watched some people try, but we didn’t make the attempt.
Hubby thought it was all rather anticlimactic, but I found the spot peaceful and picturesque. It also gave me the opportunity to rest my aching feet. Between the blisters, nerve pain and sore ankle joints, those little puppies were screaming for a break.
We dawdled for about a half hour, rehydrating with bottled water, before making the trek back. Being all downhill, the return trip didn’t take long, which was good because the day had grown hot and we could’ve used double the amount of water we’d brought. I can’t imagine how people manage to hike the canyons safely in the brutal heat of the summer. I enjoyed every bit of both hikes (even the steep parts) and was pleased that I was able to easily manage it with my vertigo and depth perception issues. It’s a good thing we did Andreas Canyon first because it might’ve been too easy to decide, after the long, hot Murray Canyon hike, to skip the shorter one and it would’ve been a shame to miss that experience.
All too soon our vacation ended and we had to head home. This is the beautiful Palm Springs airport. I’m in the background, taking Roxy for a stroll in the pet area.
Roxy wasn’t too sure about what lie ahead. I think she remembered being stuffed into that black bag.
I spotted this sign from the airplane window. It said “Please respect our neighbors. Fly quietly.” How cute.
A view of the wind farms and mountains from my plane window while waiting for takeoff.
I love my aerial shots and have been fortunate to get some real stunners over the years.
Oasis in the desert.
The advantage of having a very small dog is she could lie quietly on my lap while we ate at the food court in the Calgary airport with no one the wiser.
Thank you for coming along with me on my most excellent adventure. I plan to share another one real soon.