Indian Canyons is a collection of several canyons in the Palm Spring area that were the historical home of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. Palm, Murray, Andreas, Tahquitz and Chino Canyons are all within Indian Canyons.
About the Area
The Agua Caliente built communities in the Indian Canyons, which are rich with water, plants, animal and arable soil. In this rich soil members of the band grew melons, squash, beans and corn and harvested plants for seeds, medicine and woven baskets. Within Indian Canyons, you’ll see remnants of original Agua Caliente rock art, house pits, foundations, irrigation ditches, dams, reservoirs, trails and food preparation areas. The 31,500-acre reservation, which the federal government gifted to the band in 1876 and 1877, now spans across mountains and deserts. About 6,700 acres of the reservation lie within Palm Springs city limits.
The canyons are a spectacular example of the Southwest’s natural beauty. Among towering rock formations grow cottonwoods, willows and the California Fan Palm, the only palm tree native to the Western United States and the largest palm tree native to the country. Just within Andreas Canyon, there are 150 species of plants. If you get lucky, you may be able to spot the endangered Peninsular Big Horn Sheep.
Enjoying the natural beauty of the canyons is easy with more than 60 miles of multiple well-maintained trails of all elevations, challenge levels and lengths for an Indian Canyon hike. There are horse and pedestrian trails within the canyons. On your hikes, you’ll spot lush palm oases, waterfalls and creeks.
Rangers will educate you on the surrounding flora and fauna during talks and guided walks that are free with admission. Admission for adults is $9 and kids ages 6-12 are $5. There are discounts for students, seniors and members of the military. You also can buy annual passes, including equestrian passes. The Indian Canyons are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
How to Get to Indian Canyons
Take South Palm Canyon from Highway 111 and follow the signs for about two miles to the Indian Canyons tollgate. After you enter the canyons, continue on the main road about 2.5 miles to the Trading Post gift shop and pay your admission to the park. Follow the signs to your trails.