Travels with Tucker

Travels with Tucker

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Hiking in the Indian Canyons of Palm Springs

The local Native American tribe is the Agua Caliente band of the Cahuilla Indians.  Due to some unusually magnanimous dealings with the US government, these people came into some serious land holdings in the Palm Springs area.  Based on some nineteenth century treaties and finalized only in 1959, the local tribe owns every other section of the land around Palm Springs (like a checkerboard):

They are the largest single landowner in Palm Springs and the tribe consists of about 300 individuals!  They are a long way from the poor people on most reservations.  The lands that you see to the left of the pink Palm Springs area on the map are mountains and canyons that the Indians let visitors enter and explore--for a fee (like they aren't already rich like a Romney).  We spent an afternoon hiking the Palm Canyon area and it is really unique.

Palm Canyon is the largest fan palm oasis in the world.  Water runs pretty much year-round through the canyon and the native California fan palms thrive.  We hiked about four miles round trip and took lots of great pictures:
 The land around the canyon is typical desert vegetation--cactus, cholla, palo verde, etc.  Down in the canyon, the fan palms dominate.   We also did some hiking on the ridge above the canyon for some terrific views.

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