With it’s close proximity to Los Angeles, Palm Springs is often referred to as “the playground to the stars”, and has been the home away from home for many of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities, power couples and executives.
Elvis and Priscilla courted at the famous House of Tomorrow located at the end of Ladero Circle. The house was designed by father and son architects George Alexander and Robert Alexander. Their neighbor was Hollywood Gossip Columnist Rhona Barrett who recently received a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Fame. Honeymooners Clark Gable and Carole Lombard resided at 222 W. Chino Drive in stunning Las Palmas.
President John F. Kennedy often stayed at the home of his sister Patricia and her husband Peter Lawford on Monte Vista Street and attended services at the Catholic Church in the center of town. The church was designed by architect A.C. Martin in the early 1930’s and is now considered a landmark. Frank Sinatra’s home at 1148 Alejo was designed in 1947 by E. Stewart Williams. The late Sonny Bono served as Mayor and was a great visionary of the hugely successful Palm Springs International Film Festival.
Indian Canyon Hiking
Our first activity after exploring the wonderful stars’ homes of Palm Springs, was a guided hiking tour of the beautiful Indian Canyons which is owned by the Agua Caliente tribe. Um Naw in Native American spirituality and folklore means ‘Great Spirit of the Land is everywhere and knows everything’. These words are very powerful and inspiring to me.
Our extremely knowlegable guide was Tribal Ranger Director Rocky Toyama who explained that the area was reopened to the public in 2000.
It took the tribe three years to return the area to its pristine state after years of vandalism and abuse by the public.
Junior Ranger Program
Over 4,000 students a year take part in their free junior ranger program and remains of ancient Cahuilla society like rock art, housepits, foundations, irrigation, ditches, reservoirs, trails and food preparation areas can be found in the area.
The Indian Canyons are considered the world’s largest California Fan Palm Oasis. Also known as Washingtonia filifera, these trees are actually part of the grass family, a monocot and are 80% water.
The hot mineral streams ensure the honey mesquite trees are green all year round.
The tour of the canyon is as beautiful as I had heard and is a must see when you visit Palm Springs! When hiking, it is recommended that you drink one quart of water for every hour of walking and that when half your water is gone you should turn around and head back to avoid dehydration. Two books that Rocky recommends to learn more about the Indian culture are The Cahuilla Picture Book and Mukat’s People.
Aspen Mills Bakery Picnic
After our guided tour, we enjoyed a nice picnic lunch from Aspen Mills Bakery. Their gourmet turkey sandwiches on cranberry bread are fantastic!
Post Hiking Spa Treatment
At the Spa Resort Casino downtown, also owned by the tribe, we enjoyed a spa treatment known as the “Taking of the Waters” . Rocky explained that the famous mineral spring waters visible outside the hotel supply approximately 12 gallons a minute to the spa inside. The treatment includes steam, sauna and eucalyptus inhalation followed by relaxation in the Tranquility Room. What a perfect ending to the day!
For more information on exploring the canyons and Palm Springs, visit:
Walking Tour of the Indian Canyons
Aspen Mills Bakery
555 South Sunrise Way #101
Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism
777 North Palm Canyon Drive
Spa Resort Casino
100 North Indian Canyon
Photo by Yuri Krasov Art and Entertain Me.
We will not sell or distribute your e-mail address to anyone else.
Written by Harrison Held