Take a hike. Some of Palm Springs’s best hiking trails go back to the Agua Caliente Indians who colonized the oases and deep canyons of the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa Mountains. There are hiking trails throughout the desert, but locals say these are the most beautiful, because they wind 15 miles along streams through palm-shaded oases, narrow fern-encrusted grottoes and sun-bleached gorges. The Indian Canyons include three canyons on the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation, and are open daily to the public from October-July, but weekends only in July-September. A paved path at the beginning leads to picnic tables near the stream. Most people go only part way; Andreas Canyon, for instance, is only a mile-long loop. You’ll find hiking maps, refreshments and Indian art and artifacts at the Trading Post. If you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the desert’s beloved and endangered Peninsula Big Horn Sheep, mule deer or other wild animals on the high ground above the canyons. A word to the wise: This is raw desert—always hike with a friend, and always, always bring water.
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