Coachella Valley Preserve

#1 in Best Things To Do in Palm Springs
Coachella Valley Preserve picture
Kit_Leong/Getty Images

Key Info

29200 Thousand Palms Canyon Road

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Hiking, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.6scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

The Coachella Valley Preserve may seem like a barren desert, but keep your eyes peeled and you'll see that its 20,000-plus acres are more than just sand and brush. The preserve encompasses the smaller Thousand Palms Oasis preserve, which boasts more than 25 miles of hiking paths. Along the trails you'll spot rare wildlife, lush palm woodland oases and desert wetlands, which at different times of the year blossom with wildflowers.

Before heading out, past visitors recommend stopping by the visitor center – located in a log cabin at the entrance of the park – to pick up a map of the trails. You can also download it here. Additionally, some suggested arriving early before temperatures become unbearable and the small parking lot fills up. And if you visit between October and March, consider joining one of the preserve's free guided hikes.

The Coachella Valley Preserve is located about 17 miles east of Palm Springs in the town of Thousand Palms. Although the preserve is free to enjoy, a small donation is appreciated to help continue the park's preservation work. Keep in mind that the preserve is open daily from May through September between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.; from October to April, the gates open at 7 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. The visitors center is generally open every day between September and May from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., but because it is staffed by volunteers with varying schedules, opening hours are subject to change. Check out Coachella Valley Preserve's website to learn more.

See all Hotels in Palm Springs »

More Best Things To Do in Palm Springs

Joshua Tree National Park1 of 8
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway2 of 8
Type
Time to Spend
#2 Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is an oasis in the center of the desert. From Hidden Valley (which features a nice, easy hike) to the Cholla Cactus Garden (home to many a photo op at sunset), Joshua Tree caters to a variety of active travelers. Meanwhile, with its perch in the Little San Bernardino Mountains, the Keys View lookout is another great place for a spectacular view of the Coachella Valley.

Whether you're planning on hiking or just driving through, the park rangers recommend bringing plenty of water – this is the desert, after all. What's more, recent travelers suggested bringing food to enjoy at one of Hidden Valley's picnic tables.

Read more
garytog/Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in Palm Springs »

Explore More of Palm Springs

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

30 Fun All-Inclusive Family Vacations

Book one of these all-inclusive trips that cover food, accommodations and activities galore.

Holly JohnsonNovember 14, 2019

5 Ways Cruise Lines Are Becoming More Environmentally Friendly

Industry considers impact as it looks to the future.

Gwen PratesiNovember 12, 2019

11 Unique and Quirky Cruise Destinations

Venture off the beaten path for an authentic cruising experience.

Christine SmithNovember 12, 2019

The 2020 Best Cruise Lines for Families

Gather up the gang and head out to sea with one of these six kid-friendly cruise lines.

Nicola WoodNovember 12, 2019

The Top Pyramids in Mexico to Visit

Add these ancient marvels to your Mexico vacation itinerary.

Lyn MettlerOctober 28, 2019

30 Top Babymoon Destinations, Trips and Ideas

From romantic beach getaways to big city adventures to glamping in the forest, these locales will inspire your babymoon planning.

Gwen PratesiOctober 15, 2019

15 Tips for Traveling While Pregnant

These tips will help pregnant women travel the world in comfort and style.

Holly JohnsonOctober 10, 2019

The Best Chicago Segway Tours

See all the top sights in the Windy City without breaking a sweat.

Marisa MéndezOctober 3, 2019

The Best Washington, D.C., Bus Tours

Here's everything you need to know about D.C. bus tours.

John RodwanOctober 1, 2019

How to Visit Vatican City: Tours and Things to See

This country within Rome has a lot to offer travelers.

Lyn MettlerSeptember 30, 2019