Greater Palm Springs is a stunning location, where desert landscape gives way to a palm tree-filled green oasis fed by a groundwater basin of mountain snowmelt. 

This vast Southern California desert has been home to humans for millennia, including the beautiful Tahquitz Canyon, ancestral land of the Agua Caliente People and home to a 60-foot waterfall, abundant wildlife, and diverse desert plants. 


Today, Tahquitz Canyon is a popular visitor site, but many aren’t aware of how it got its name. The story, as passed down generation by generation by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, tells of a powerful shaman named Tahquitz. Initially, it was said that Tahquitz wielded his immense powers for the betterment of humanity. 

Yet, over time, Tahquitz succumbed to the allure of selfish desires, exploiting his abilities to inflict harm upon others, leading to his exile to a secluded canyon that now bears his name. Legend has it that he settled in a hidden cave beneath the imposing Tahquitz Peak within the San Jacinto Mountains and that he still resides within this canyon. 

And sometimes, according to local lore — Tahquitz makes himself known as a vivid, luminous green fireball streaking across the night sky, or a rumbling deep within the canyon 

You can find out more about the Legend of Tahquitz at the Tahquitz Canyon Visitor’s Center, where you can watch a 12-minute video before you head out onto the two-mile looping family-friendly trail. 

To learn more about the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, a federally recognized Native American Tribe, go to

Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza

Since time immemorial, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians have called Greater Palm Springs home. Hear their story like never before at the new Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza in downtown Palm Springs. Featuring a tribal museum, a state-of-the-art spa and an outdoor Oasis Trail, the Agua...

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