The Coachella Valley is an arid rift valley in the Colorado Desert of Southern California. It is home to a number of wintertime resort cities and numerous winter events. The valley extends approximately forty five miles southeast from the San Gorgonio Pass in the west to the northern shore of the Salton Sea on the southeast. It’s approximately fifteen miles wide along most of its length. Surrounding the valley are the San Bernardino and Little San Bernardino Mountains on the northeast and the San Jacinto and Santa Rose Mountains on the southwest.
A couple of years ago for my birthday, the kids gave me an aerial tour of Palm Springs in a bi-plane. It was a wonderful way to see and photograph this fascinating place I call home half of the year. Palm Springs is located on the western most end of the Coachella Valley but its top-ography, geography and ambiance is representative of the entire Coachella Valley.
We started the tour by flying over downtown Palm Springs.
The downtown area is going through a metamorphosis with new hotels, retail establishments, art galleries and eateries. It’s become a mecca for our ever-growing tourist trade.
Then we swung south, skirting the San Jacinto Mountains where some of my favorite hiking trails are located.
To our left was the Indian Canyon neighborhood where Sharon and I have lived for over ten years.
Then it was down into the back canyons of the Indian lands.
These back canyons called Andreas, Murray and Palm Canyon, all had their climbing peaks and hidden oasis as a part of the San Jacinto Mountain chain.
Even on the ground, the country around here is a wonder to behold. Oswald Canyon offers winding hiking tours of the mountain base.
The Henderson and Garstin Trails offer up elevation for a different perspective of the surrounding terrain.
The wash at the base of the Henderson Trail offers up an entirely different perspective of desert life.
Beyond the borders of the Coachella Valley, the high desert offers up its own varied terrain and atmosphere.
Yucca Valley, the Morongo Valley, and Joshua Tree all offer up a cornucopia of visual experiences.
The Coachella Valley and its surrounding mountains offer up a fascinating variety of scenery all year round.