Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Tahquitz Canyon

Tahquitz Canyon is on the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Reservation, in the Sonoran desert in Southern Californa. Much of the well known city of Palm Springs is actually part of the reservation. Our RV was parked about 30 miles north of the canyon. 

We'll start with the end. This waterfall is the payoff for a fairly difficult hike on a hot day. It is also one of the reasons that the Cahuilla Indians have continuously inhabited this area for over 2000 years.

My wife, trusty guide, and modern day trailblazer leads us up the canyon. We are headed straight ahead for about two miles.

This is a pretty good example of what the flat parts of the trail look like. When the trail goes up hill it looks like....

This! The elevation gain was about 500 feet.  If it hadn't been hot, it would have been much easier.

I have no idea what this is, but I liked it!

Doesn't that big rock on the left look like a dinosaur head? Or maybe a giant turtle head? 

This unusual formation looked like a giant thrust a sharp rock into the ground.

Yin and Yang...
Native Americans consider there tribal lands to be sacred.  This little bit of defacement was obviously done by a tourist. A pious and hypocritical one at that.

Working our way uphill

Just because

A pretty little pool beside the only carved out spot on the trail.

One of several small waterfalls where the stream winds it's way down the hill.

For reflections by other photographers go to Weekend Reflections sponsored by James.



  1. Bonjour Patrick
    I've never done a kind of adventure like that.Thanks so much for sharing your pictures.I like a lot the different shape of the stones, the picture "Yin and Yang"is absolutely beautiful!

    *** Do you think in this place would be possible to see face to face a snake or scorpião? I am terrified of snakes! :(

  2. I'm envious of all your desert jaunts Pat. It looks like you're making the most of life. Deserts are beautiful.

    By the way, the "white spider" looks to me like a group of tiny quartz veins (how boring it is to be an ex-geologist).

  3. looks like a gorgeous and peaceful place- I would love to visit and go hiking there.

  4. hey cool, a waterfall in a desert. great pics!

  5. Wonderful images! Were you tempted to jump into one of those pools? Of course walking in wet shoes is awful.

  6. What a beautiful part of the country...


  7. so pretty! and, yes, i'd like to deface that stupid graffiti person.

  8. Gorgeous photos! Were any of them taken just because you wanted an opportunity to stop and catch your breath?

  9. What a beautiful place, Pat! And your photos are terrific! Love the waterfalls! And feel the same way about the pious hypocrite! Why do people do stuff like this??? Thanks for sharing the beauty!!


  10. I love the little pool and waterfall. Fantastic and beautifully shot pictures. And yes, before I even read the caption I saw that one rock and thought 'dinosaur!'

  11. wow. Incredible hike and fantastic pics. My hikes seem completely tame in comparison. I may have to put Palm Springs on my list of places to go.

  12. Great photos Pat! I think that thing you didn't know what is was might have been in one of the Alien movies!

  13. I love the waterfall and the water pool near the rocks. What a wonderful hike this must have been.

  14. I can't believe waterfalls come from such small rocks. Beautiful.

  15. That was quite picturesque hike. Thanks for letting me look over your shoulder, Pat. I'm not tired at all!

  16. Oh intrepid travelers! You find some great trails to blaze. The payoff of water at the end of a trail is the best. I enjoyed so much taking this tour with you. One strongly feels your love of the land and your sense of reverence thru your words and images. PS: Your wife is so awesome! I feel your joy...

  17. Well, first of all, I must tell your wife that she is such a warrior for leading a 2 miles up the hill like that. I would be sitting somewhere melting, huffing and puffing in the heat.

    Gorgeous place with your fantastic pictures, Pat!

  18. Gorgeous photos, as always. I love the one with the design in the rock.

  19. Great pics again of another unknown place (to me anyways) Loved the refreshing pond. Think I would have at least dipped my toes in to cool off. Looked real inviting! If not toes, then perhaps a little skinny dipping for you and Paula! Just for keeping your inner core cooled down and all!

  20. I agree with everyone, these photos are gorgeous. I've been thereabouts and it's a very impressive part of the world.

    And now I hate to say that the unusual formation looks unusually phallic to me. Sorry, but I can't be the only one to see it that way. Can I? =)

    Be well, Pat.

  21. Oh Pat, that looks alot like our kind of trail... However, I can't do it when it's THAT hot outside.. We try to do most of our strenuous hikes during the cooler times of year.

    Beautiful waterfall... Did you jump in and cool off????

    We saw a waterfall when we were in Utah --after a 'desert' hike... Nice, huh????

    Thanks for sharing.

  22. What wonderful photos! The waterfall and stream is fabulous!

  23. I haven't made it over in a while, Pat, but I'm glad to see a rolling stone gathers no moss. Glad you're still out and about visiting fun places. Have a good weekend.

  24. Great shots, Pat! And wonderful tour guiding. I'd love to be able to go on adventures like this.

    Oh, and about embarassing family members, I haven't managed to do that yet. My youngest daughter (also an aspiring photographer) often does the same and my husband doesn't mind but he's not easily embarassed. :)

  25. Wow! Cool shots! Love the waterfall shots.

  26. Leia - Thanks so much Leia! There are too many adventures to take here! The desert is a huge place! Take care...

    dennis - Thanks Dennis! Every winter we try to spend a lot of time in the desert. There is much to see and do. Thanks for the geology tip! I'll be over soon...

    Ren - As you know, there is a HUGE amount of beautiful desert areas in the U.S. We are always torn between driving back roads and hiking. Sometimes, they are connected!

    Budd - Thanks Budd. It's not something you get to see everyday.

    Alex - They weren't deep enough to dive into, but I did take advantage of the cool water.

    Pearl - It sure is Pearl! If you haven't been here, you should try to sometime...

    TexWisGirl - Oh yeah! It made me sick!

    Bossy Betty - Thanks Betty! Nah, I never lost breath a single time! Maybe several times, but not a single time...

  27. It is interesting how the whole hike looks like desert, but then you get to a beautiful waterfall. Although it was hot, it looks like a nice hike.

  28. Beautiful place, I love those beautiful pictures of beautiful scenery. Happy weekend.

  29. Hi Pat, I am loving the desert, and especially finding a waterfalls in the middle of those big boulders. Kudos to your wife for enduring that steep hike.

    The desert would be the best place to shoot the full moon tomorrow.

    P.S. I was in Salton Sea again last Sunday, and we discovered a trash/artist mecca in Slab City.

  30. Beautiful place, thanks for sharing! Greetings from Brasov!

  31. Did you get to dip into the water, Pat? What a gorgeous hike. Thanks for carrying your camera along.

  32. A wonderful collection of phtotgraphs yet again Patty.. wow youve really been getting out there these past 12 (?) months...
    Great stuff..

    ..and yes, what a shame some dickhead has to go and spoil things...People who do things like that should be flogged... publicly... see how they like it..


  33. What a great place to hike and take photos. Great series. Never understood the need for anyone to deface anything no matter what the cause.

    Darryl and Ruth :)

  34. I'm enjoying your canyon tour. I'm starting to get wanderlust.

    Play off the Page

  35. beautiful place to be. you captured it nicely.

  36. We are quite sure that Bill has American Indian ancestors (someday when we have time....) but in the meantime, we long ago decided that this tribe must be the one he's descended from (yeah right)... now I wonder how much of Palm Springs we own?

    Lovely photos of this beautiful canyon.

  37. Sylvia - It sure was beautiful, Sylvia! People do stuff like that because they are stupid!

    Tim - Thanks Tim! As soon as I saw that "dino" rock, I immediately knew it would find it's way onto my blog.

    mshatch - Many times, difficult hikes can be made much easier by taking your time. thanks!

    Brian - Thanks so much! I agree! I thought that one rock looked pretty alien like.

    Kay - It was a nice place! The hike out was a lot harder because it got so hot.

    Clarissa - That rock may look small in the photo, but it was the size of a house. Thanks Clarissa!

    Pam - My pleasure Pam! Tag along anytime...

    Stickup Artist - HA! We do our best. You are right! A payoff at the end of a hike makes it all worthwhile. Thanks so much, I think she is pretty awesome also!

  38. I truly enjoy the tours you take me on with your photos. it's nice to see the contrast between the dryness and the water. did you dip your toes in the pool? If it was hot, I would have jumped right in. thanks for sharing. it was beautiful. happy week to you Pat.

  39. Another great trek Pat!! I so love living vicariously through your pics. You save me thousands in gas money!!!

    Blessings my Friend!


  40. hey Pat a trip to the desert is just what I the shots especially the pool and the waterfall. cheers.

  41. Icy BC - Thanks! Yep, she's always up for a good hike. Plus, she always carries the water.

    Talli - Thanks Talli! I like that one as well.

    Michelle - I dipped my hands and cooled off my head. I'm sure it was very tasty also. If I was "skinny dipping" it would have to be called something else. Like the opposite of skinny! Hey, I had a phone message from you know who tonight...

    Robyn - Thanks so much Robyn! Next time we'll do the other three canyons. If it's not too hot that is. Ah, no, I didn't notice that....

    Betsy - That was our last desert hike until next winter. Unless we can get out there VERY early. Which I doubt we can... We didn't go into the water. One of the reservation rules puts the kabosh on it!

    Antonette - Thanks so much! It was a very nice place.

    Laura - Nice to see you Laura! I am certainly gathering no moss! In fact, we're taking off again next Monday.

    Liz - Thanks Liz! My pleasure! I'm glad you enjoyed it. As to being the embarrassing photographer. I've done that to my family many times. It usually involves me laying on the ground.

  42. Karen - thanks so much Karen! It was a good one.

    Blue Wave - Thanks! By mid summer, all that water will be gone...

    Carly - A little water and things can thrive, even in the desert...

    Leovi - Thanks! It was a beautiful place.

    Ebie - Due to that water, folks have been living in and/or around that canyon for thousands of years. We were home during that particular full moon and it was too cloudy to see. "Trash/Artist mecca" is a great way to describe Slab City. For sure, there is also a more serious and negative presence there as well. I still love it though...

    Robert - thanks Robert! I appreciate you stopping by and commenting.

    Ann - Yes! That way I can find her!

    Francisca - I didn't go in the water, but I did use it to cool off. I never go anywhere without at camera. On that particular day I had three with me. My SLR, my P&S, and the one in my android.

  43. Anthony - Thanks so much Anthony! You've got just about right. During the last 300 days, we've been on the road or camping for about 120 of them. I totally agree with you, but flogging might not be harsh enough!

    Darryl and Ruth - It sure was a great place! I'm with you about defacing. I just don't get it.

    Mary - It's my pleasure Mary!

    Laura's Quill - Thanks so much! I appreciate it.

    Sallie - I was thinking the same thing. I don't want much. Maybe, only 10% of the revenue they take in from their two casinos!.

    Ms. Becky - It's my pleasure! Nice to see you around again! I know what you mean about the contrast, because once you get several feet away from the water, it's simply total desert again. In fact, it will all be dry in a month or so. Thanks so much Becky!

    John - Gas is expensive, that's why we hike! Thanks John...

    Mary -

  44. A tough looking walk and climb but looks like it was worth it Pat!

    Chrissy from Manchester: a photo a day at Mancunian Wave

  45. I think the rock looks like a smiling whale.

  46. You always show us strange but incredible places. Greetings.

  47. I love going on these hikes with you Pat!!
    Thanks so much for your comment on my blog. My thoughts are with you and your wife particularly on this Mother's Day... it's wonderful celebrating Mother's Day with your kids but there's an emptiness when one is missing.
    Before I entered Blogger land I knew no one in my situation with a child gone for no apparent reason... now I've met many!!
    For us it's actually been since Jan 2008 (when my son met his partner)... it was on again, off again... the on times becoming shorter every time on the off times getting longer and longer. It's been 14 months now since we've seen him (his son is almost 2 and I've seen him for a very short 5 weeks in Feb last year and his baby daughter, I've never seen)

  48. Your adventures are stuff of exotic travel brochures. And the photos are enticing and dreamy, of a bygone era.

  49. Pat, I love your travel post. Thanks for giving me the chance to vicariously visit right along with you.

    I also appreciate that you keep returning to my humble site. Your visits are the gold in my mining day.

  50. I wanna go here just so I can say the name over and over again!

    That would a) make me smile and b) irritate my husband...

    Win, win all around!

  51. I say turtle. Cool territory. You never know what you might discover out there.

  52. I love seeing plants growing out in the middle of nowhere. It's always such a treat!!


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