Abundant hiking trails, from easy walking trails to difficult terrain. Spectacular mountain vistas, waterfalls, natural streams, rocky gorges and unusual rock formations. Natural desert beauty, including pristine desert air, giant palm trees and alpine wilderness.

The fifteen mile long Palm Canyon, one of the Indian Canyons, is among the most beautiful natural sites in Western North America. Its indigenous flora and fauna, expertly used by the Cahuilla people, and its abundant Washingtonia Filifera (California Fan Palm) stand in breathtaking contrast to the stark rocky gorges and barren desert lands, beyond. A moderately graded footpath winds down into the canyon, where you can hike, explore, ride horses, meditate, or picnic near the stream.

Keep in mind that much of this landscape is remote and challenging, however. Pack so that you could take care of yourself overnight, if necessary, and either hike with a friend, or notify a friend where you will be hiking and when you expect to return. Stay on the trail, and also beware of rattlesnakes by watching where you put your hands and feet, especially in warm weather when snakes are active.

Further note that cross-country travel and camping in Peninsular bighorn sheep habitats is prohibited from January 1 through September 30.

While in Palm Canyon, visit the Trading Post for hiking maps, refreshments, Indian art and artifacts, books, jewelry, pottery, baskets, weaving, and more. Palm Canyon is also close to Andreas Canyon and Murray Canyon.

Pack List

  • Sturdy footwear
  • Water, at least 1 L per hour of hiking
  • Sun protection: protective clothing, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
  • Warm layers and waterproof shell for longer hikes (weather changes quickly)
  • Trail map
  • Entry fees: $9 for adults, with discounts for seniors, military, students, and children
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Activities Chillin, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Groups
Handicap Accessible
Picnic Area
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Closed During Summer

Be sure to check whether or not the Indian Canyons Reserve is open, we tried to get to this hike and apparently they close the reserve during certain times in the summer :(

Put it on your Bucket list

We did the hike on Nov 30 and intended to go to the Stone Pools, but were told that the pools were dry. So, we only did about 2/3 of the hike there. The variation from oasis to desert was amazing and the views spectacular. A must do hike if you are in the area. There are other hikes within the Indian Canyons park. Also, highly recommend Andreas Canyon Loop.

about 3 years ago

Despite the picture there are palm oases that could be considered paradise. The best time to go is in March.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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