Palm Springs Travel Guide

USA  #11 in Best Places to Visit in California
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Courtesy of Allard Schager/Getty Images

Free Things To Do in Palm Springs

  • #1
    Things to do in Palm Springs
    View all Photos
    #1 in Palm Springs
    13.2 miles to city center
    Hiking, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    13.2 miles to city center
    Hiking, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    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.

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