Palm Springs area

7:40 p.m. on February 6, 2013 (EST)
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Heading to Palm Springs, Friday, for a week.  While I have been there many, many times, I haven't done much exploring (always too much family and not enough time). This week the weather looks like it will be perfect for me (under 65 and over 40) day/ night.

I'm planning on taking the tram up to San Jacinto for one whole day.   I had hoped to take my snowshoes (on the plane,,,,erg) but it looks like there isn't enough snow in the mountains to go to the trouble. I don't expect to have time for camping, due to family commitments. But I'm sorely tempted to stay up there overnight.  Has anyone camped at the top of the tram-area?   Also, I am carless - taking public transport up and down the valley.  Does anyone have any recommendations for hikes in the area?    Are there any natural springs (noncommercial)?  I have travel books for the area, so all the major spots are covered, roughly, information wise. 

It should be fun!  I'll report back.


4:52 a.m. on February 7, 2013 (EST)
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There may still be “snow” on top, but it might be more like a hard crusty and slippery crust at this point.  The tram web site has a live camera view of Long Valley, the area near the tram’s mountain station.  Other nice places to visit are Palm Canyon, located at the base of the mountain, proximal to city of Palm Springs.  If you can make it over to Palm Desert, the Anza Borrego Preserve is a fine location offring secluded trails through Senora zone desert flora.  I know public transportation is available to Palm Desert, but do not know if anything goes up the highway through Anza Borrego Preserve.  Anza Borrego does have a couple of wild, cold flowing, springs.


12:44 p.m. on February 7, 2013 (EST)
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Whome has it right.  Why go all the way to the desert in winter to ride the tram with the tourists and hang out in the snow?  Do that at home.

I love to visit the oases like the Indian owned one at the end of Palm Canyon.  I like to drive out in the bush with my 88 year old Dad.  We look for old mine sites and have great conversations.  We shoot pistols sometimes.  I like the giant Mexican Mercado in town and the landscape nurseries.  The restaurants are spectacular and not very expensive.  Great used clothing stores.  Palm is quiet, old school, and charming.

I will be there in 10 days to visit the folks on the way to the Colorado R for a canoe trip with my brother.  We will stop and visit to and fro.

The desert is wonderful in winter.  Don't be afraid to go out in it.  Just be careful with navigation and bring lots of water.


6:54 p.m. on February 7, 2013 (EST)
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Canoeing the Colorado: did that years ago between Havasu and Imperial dams.  It was very different from other outdoor trips, including other canoe trips elsewhere.  Actually we drifted along side our vessels sitting on our flotation cushions up to our necks in nice warm water.  It was very hot on dry land, however.  The only paddling was mostly to launch and beach the canoes.  Had a large ice chest charged with dry ice for the perishables, and restocked somewhere along the route.  This is my idea of Cruising.


11:13 p.m. on February 7, 2013 (EST)
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Snow coming Friday then be clear Saturday.  High temps 30's Sat, 30/40's rest of week.  Lows teens/20's.

Sounds like nice weather for a walk if you have another wooly jumper.  There will be wind.

1:07 a.m. on February 8, 2013 (EST)
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Go to Skull Rock in Joshua Tree. Opposite that, there is a a trail to a hanging valley with a stone house and small mine shaft. A very cool hike. The trail is a little hard to follow since it cuts across rocks and then up a steep gully, But well worth it, one of the best hikes in JT.

2:55 a.m. on February 8, 2013 (EST)
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Keeping my options open, but will spend a day at the top (trying to embrace the tourists = after all I am one).

Thanks for all the great info.  I have spent many moons in the desert; Joshua Tree '89 was my favorite trip of ALL time. 

Leaving the snowshoes..... but this sounds like a good reason to buy gear (microspikes for the ice)... hahaha

10:19 a.m. on February 8, 2013 (EST)
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Sounds like you're sold on San Jacinto, but +1 on Anza Borrego. Here's a trip report from 2011.

7:54 p.m. on February 8, 2013 (EST)
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In Feb it will be a different trip.  Warm days, cool nights, cold water and few power boats except for bass fisherman.

April 20, 2018
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