Posted September 6, 2022

5 Fab Things to Do Outdoors in Palm Springs


From teeing off to poolside lounging, Palm Springs remains the land of plenty.  But, for those who crave hiking, horseback riding or are simply searching for scenic pleasures outside fairways and pink flamingo floaties, there are amazing outdoor activities to where you can soak in the desert lore. Here are our top 5.

1.) Moorten Botanical Garden

Stroll along the family-owned Spanish style grounds, featuring a collection of over 3,000 cactus and prickly plants including towering 15-foot saguaros and a special greenhouse (known as a cactarium) with native African desert plants.  Fun Fact: This hidden gem dates back to the 1930’s.

Go cacti-crazy in this desert-lover’s paradise (Photo credit: Moorten Botanical Garden)

2.) Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Nostalgia reigns inside this old school 1960’s station with a series of rotating tram cars to whisk you along fifty miles of hiking trails. Sit back and enjoy the spectacular scenery (at 8,000 feet) of Mt. San Jacinto State Park and Coachella Valley.

Enjoy a tram with a view. (Photo credit: Palm Springs Aerial Tramway)

3.) Indian Canyons

For a peek into the past, the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation gives an education on the ancient Cahullia peoples way of life. Or go for a hike along the Indian Canyon Trails, a group of ravines with cooling streams, fan palms, wildflowers and shady canopy. For horseback riding, Smoke Tree Stables offers guided trail rides and afterwards, a traditional cowboy cookout.

Towering palms are an oasis from the sun for hikers in Indian Canyons

4.) Sunnylands

Built by media tycoon, Walter Annenberg, this 200-acre estate and retreat center has long been a gathering place for visiting world leaders and US presidents. Visitors can walk along 12-acres of lush art-filled public grounds with arty clusters of cactus. Alternatively, take a tour of the magnificent 23-room 1960’s midcentury mansion (reservations are suggested).

Palm Spring’s iconic architecture is the perfect fit with Sunnyland’s surrounding beauty. (Photo credit: The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands)

5.) The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

Nestled at the foot of Mt. San Jacinto, this desert attraction reads more like an untraditional park with a mix of 450 wild animals (including cheetah, zebra and bighorn sheep), giraffe feeding and tram rides. There are also private hiking trails to stretch your legs or stroll the peaceful gardens filled with rare and exotic succulents, cacti and wildflowers.

Soak in the sunshine with a stroll through the gardens (Photo credit: The Living Desert)

Where to stay: Add a dash of California glamour to your outdoorsy adventuring at the Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs Hotel, opening fall 2017!











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