A day hiker pauses under native palms in Andreas Canyon.
Walkers find relief from the fierce Palm Springs, Calif., sun in Andreas Canyon, where fan palms wear shaggy beards of old fronds and more than 150 species of plants dwell along a two-mile loop trail. Chilly Andreas Creek runs through the oasis, creating a string of pools and shallow falls.
The Agua Caliente band of the Cahuilla people once lived in the canyon, and a giant slab nicknamed Gossip Rock still shows the pockmarks women left while pummeling plant material into powder using manos, or grinding stones.
“It is a wonderful, natural spot,” says Michael Hammond, executive director of the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum. “It’s about 15 to 20 degrees cooler, and you see some good birds.” Andreas is one of a series of similar gorges on the Cahuilla Reservation. Ranger-led tours and talks are offered, and the museum leads periodic hikes. (760) 323-6018, theindiancanyons.com.
Photography by Christian Heeb
This article was first published in January 2014. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.