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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Scenic Sunday / Tahquitz Canyon, Palm Springs, California


My husband and I returned to Palm Springs yesterday to do some hiking in Tahquitz Canyon.  This area is Indian reservation land and a fee of $12.50 is collected before stepping foot on to the trail, which is true of all the Indian lands in this region.
Centuries ago, ancestors of the Agua Caliente Cahuilla (pronounced Kaw-we-ah) Indians settled in the Palm Springs area.  They developed complex communities in the Tahquitz, Chino and Indian Canyons.  The Cahuilla Indians thrived with an abundant water supply, plants and animals.
Of the reservations 32,000 acres of land, some 6,500 lie within the Palm Springs city limits.  The remaining sections fan out across the desert and mountains in a checkerboard pattern.
Tahquitz Canyon and three southern canyons are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
These canyons are especially sacred to the Indians today.  Visitors are requested to enjoy the serene beauty and leave only footsteps behind.
The above photograph was taken at the mouth of Tahquitz Canyon looking back at the city of Palm Springs.  The following photos will show the sights along the trail heading into the canyon and then the loop scenes as we return to the starting point.


The stream had a fair amount of water for this time of year.  It will be far more impressive in the late spring and early summer when the snow melts at the higher elevations above the desert floor.

Rock Art


The Costa Hummingbird...I couldn't get a clear focus on this little guy because a breeze kept the bush moving.  I wish I had changed my camera to a faster shutter speed.



Remnants of the Lebacho-Tahquitz Creek Ditch mark this area.  Originally built in 1830 by the Cahuilla to bring water from the canyon to the village for drinking and irrigation.

This is Sacred Rock which is one of the oldest Cahuilla village sites.  Rock art, bedrock mortors mark this sacred place.  Artifacts found here date back 1000-1600 years ago.



The trail ranges from very steep rocky steps, to...


this.




 
Massive Rock Walls surround the canyon on both sides.


There is bold color along the way,
and the reward at the back of the canyon is this...


sixty foot waterfall which changes depending on snow melt at the higher elevations.
This sight will be far more impressive during the late spring and early summer...but, the hike in to see it will be HOT compared to the winter months.

Another view of the water fall.

This is the scene behind us as we gazed at the water fall.


One of many views of the city of Palm Springs on our way out of the canyon.


a scenic little rock bridge...

 
We're nearly back where we started now.


a tempting table and bench...but, we kept on going to the car...
What a beautiful canyon it is!  We will return again, no question!









11 comments:

Riet said...

What a beautiful country you live in. Great pictures of your adventures.

storyteller said...

Thanks for taking us along on this lovely desert walk with you!
Hugs and blessings,

Tammie Lee said...

Thanks for sharing your day with us. Such a great photo group of beauty!

Martha Z said...

Another great winter hike! Thanks, Carolyn, for bringing us along.

Benikos place said...

Wild and wonderfull nature, great shots!!!

eileeninmd said...

Carolyn, thanks for taking me on your hike. It looks like a wonderful place especially the waterfall. Love the bright red flowers. The Costa Hummingbird would be a newbie for me. Grat photos.

Kirigalpoththa said...

What a lovely place! Excellent photos too!!

sarayutouched said...

thanks for the walk this morning...these are truely awesome shots...

Ebie said...

A great place for photo opportunities. Love your series of photos and my favorite is the hummingbird, holding steadfast to the leaf!

JOE TODD said...

I always enjoy going on a hike.Went on one yesterday. I needed to take a break today but thanks to your post I got to go on a great hike with you

Carly said...

This looks like a beautiful area for a hike and I'm sure that it was worth the $ to see the scenery. It is interesting that they charge... The little bridge is cute.