Monday, September 4, 2017

Exploring Palm Springs, California

There is so much to do in southern California! We have been living a few miles from Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Park, Salton Sea, Anza Borrega Desert State Park, Slab City, etc.....  These are just some of the amazing places we have hiked and visited since we have been in Desert Hot Springs!

First of all - Palm Springs! There is just something about this city that I am drawn to - I think it is the vintage vibe of it all! There are lots of vintage stores, a vintage market, vintage cars, vintage homes, vintage hotels - you name it!  There are also lots of  unique restaurants, festivals, entertainment, architecture, film events, etc.!

Typical Palm Springs -  Palm Trees, Mountains, and Vintage! 
One of the best attractions is the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway! This rotating tram car travels over two-and-one-half miles moving you up the mountain to the Mt. San Jacinto State Park.  The tram car holds approximately 30 people and it rotates as you move so your view is always changing. I have a little bit of fear of heights so was a little hesitant but it was a spectacular and exciting ride!

Tram coming to pick us up!

At the top you are at 8,516 feet elevation, therefore, it is about 30 degrees cooler up there so plan ahead! Sounds like a great place to be in the middle of the summer! The views at the top are unbelievable - you can see the many windmills in the Coachella Valley, pine trees, and all the way to the Salton Sea, which is about 60 miles away. 

There are many hiking trails at the top but it is just a short hike to see all the views.  

There is also a restaurant and bar at the top so be sure to stay until after the sunsets to see all the lights of the city!

Another highlight of this area is Salvation Mountain and Slab City. We have joked for many years that if this workamping thing didn't work out we could always go live at Slab City!  So we just had to venture out and see what it was all about.  On our way there we passed by the Salton Sea. I can't imagine what an oasis in the desert this place must have been in the day, but now it has deteriorated so much and not very many people still live in the area. For some reason the history behind this Sea fascinates me and I hope that some day their efforts to revive the area are successful.

Our next stop was Salvation Mountain.  This is a man made "mountain" that took almost 30 years to build. It is made of adobe clay, straw, and donated paint. It is 50 feet high and 150 feet wide and work continues on it to this day, although not by the original artist. 


It's really hard to describe - if you are in the area,  you must stop! In this same area is Slab City and a place I hadn't heard of before called East Jesus! Slab City is a abandoned marine corps barracks and is most popular in the winter months when the snowbirds show up. There is no water, no sewer, no electricity and no charge! There were all kinds of "campers" there - some brand new motor homes right along with trailers that have been there for many, many years! There is also a lot of creative artwork!

There are lots of local hikes in the mountains and smaller towns within 50 miles of Palm Springs.  There is one called Painted Canyon Ladder Hike near Mecca that has ladders for you to drop down into the slot canyon as well as climb out of the canyon! There is also an "Oasis" nearby that was a pretty great place to find water in the desert!

Oasis in the Desert

Painted Canyon Ladder Hike in Mecca, CA

That's a very quick review of some of the hot spots in the area. I hope you enjoyed all the photos- that is really the best way to tell a story! More adventures of great places in another post!

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  1. So glad to hear you are doing so well. My husband Abd i are just getting started in this lifestyle and plan to travel west next Spring. Will definitely be checking out some of the areas you've mentioned!

    1. That is exciting Nana! You will love it! So much to see in our great nation!


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