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Just outside of Palm Springs (on the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation), are several good hiking trails situated in what is collectively known as the Indian Canyons, part of the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation. The prettiest hike runs through Palm Canyon.

Take Highway 111 through the center of Palm Springs, and when it forks off east and south, continue on South Palm Canyon Drive about 2 miles until you get to the toll gate. Admission is $8 per person, $6 for seniors and military, and $4 for children. Follow signs to the Trading Post parking lot, where you can buy a multitude of books about the area as well as postcards, Native American handicrafts and CD’s.

Half a mile further down a steep, narrow road (not accessible to RV’s) is the parking area for the trailhead. The first-mile loop of the hike contains one of the most spectacular oases in the U.S. Hundreds of California Fan Palms line the creek bed, which leads upstream to several small waterfalls. Looping back towards the parking area, you’ll be elevated above the oasis and subject to sweeping views of the desert valley. The best hiking is during springtime. Bring hats, sunscreen, plenty of water and a camera.

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