Great Tours #3: Exploring the desert with a guide
This month we've been featuring amazing guided experiences in Palm Springs. Having a guide show you some of the intricacies of city life, behind-the-scenes sites, or relating specific local knowledge can make a good trip into a great and memorable vacation. While we've previously covered home tours, as well as insider historic and walking tours, today we’re stepping outside the city limits.
Palm Springs is surrounded by miles and miles of amazing desert wilderness. Whether you like hiking, geology, stargazing or perhaps learning about the massive technology that powers the Coachella Valley, there's a tour for you.
Learn about the iconic windmills
You can't enter or leave without seeing them; they’re the silent towering sentinels that watch over the Coachella Valley. Hundreds of windmills dot the landscape and scratch at the sky, providing not just an imposing view but also providing much of the power for this area.
You can of course tell they're massive from a distance, but getting up close to one will truly make you feel two feet tall.
Palm Springs Windmill Tours will take you around the fences and behind-the-scenes of these Desert Goliaths. After you board a luxury air conditioned bus, you’ll get up close to the windmills. You’ll get so close you can stand at a windmill’s base and watch it spin slowly from the ground.
These tours feature knowledgeable and experienced guides, and even include a Palm Springs favourite snack — a date shake!
Hike Joshua Tree National Park
Hiking Joshua Tree National Park is a bucket list item. There are several short trails that are reasonably well marked, but being new to the desert environment can be intimidating. There are concerns about losing your way in a vast dry tundra. There are also important guidelines to keep in mind if you're not familiar with how to deal with intense heat and strenuous activity. Your first desert hike with a guide can alleviate any worries you have and make the day or weekend enjoyable and stress free.
Stout Adventure is a local tour company with an experienced lead guide who’s also Search & Rescue trained. Matt will take you on a hike that lasts anywhere from a few hours to a few days, and can even supply needed camping gear if arranged in advance.
His knowledge of the local flora and fauna means that you can learn a little something about your environment while you're putting one foot in front of another. A four hour hike is a great way to explore the basics of the desert and to acclimatize yourself to a longer journey, like a full day hike or even a few days.
Step on the San Andreas Fault
Visitors to the Palm Springs area will no doubt have heard about the San Andreas fault. It’s the ever-shifting boundary between two geologic plates; the Pacific and the North American. It's gained shady fame over the years ever since a massive earthquake destroyed part of San Francisco in 1906. With its power firmly and indisputably in hand, Californians have kept a wary eye on this tear in the earth. At the same time as it may inspire concern, it also draws curiosity, and you can get up close to it by taking a jeep tour from Desert Adventures.
In standout red jeeps you'll be driven across the desert and shown a variety of amazing geological features from a fault line oasis to steep canyons and even some of the desert plants and animals.
No matter which type of tour inspires you, you'll be sure to see amazing sites and learn new things about the Palm Springs area.
Explore more tour options in the desert outside Palm Springs here.