Owned by the City of Palm Desert and operated by Family YMCA of the Desert, Palm Desert Aquatic Center (PDAC) has garnered recognition well beyond its Coachella Valley domain. Aside from rendering year-round fun via heated pools, multiple slides, diving boards and play features designed to delight water lovers of all ages, the eight-acre facility demonstrates its competitive edge when hosting polo, swimming and diving events.

Among these is the Y Be Fit Palm Desert Challenge that works its way throughout the community. The annual October mini-triathlon reverses the traditional order with a 5K run, 10-mile bike and finale 300-meter swim at PDAC.

PDAC is also the home pool and preferred practice spot for Coachella Valley squads that include Xavier College Prep’s water polo teams, 110-member Palm Desert Swim Club, Special Olympics trainees and USA Triathlon Desert Olympic Tritons Masters swimming.

The latter taps into PDAC as its pool training headquarters, with coaching provided by the organization’s owner, elite multi-sport athlete and NCAA swimming All American coach, Ben Hobbins. Triton is considered Coachella Valley’s “club” for both developing and established athletes that range from youth, high school and collegiate to post-collegiate and masters age group competition. The program also welcomes visiting and prospecting triathletes seeking advanced level training.

On the recreational level, PDAC is the top pick for swim lessons, water exercise programs and curriculum fitness classes for College of the Desert, YMCA, Desert Swim Academy and Desert Recreation District. Yoga Central adds SUP to the mix with pool yoga sessions on paddleboards.

Since 2012, Just Add Swim (formerly Swim to Win) finds U.S. Olympic medalists teaching children the ropes on swim safety. With Gold Medal Olympian Janet Evans as a co-founder, the non-profit organization holds this signature water safety and awareness clinic at PDAC, as well as outreach programs across the U.S.

For less competitive gatherings, corporate groups can plug into private teambuilding events where less athletically inclined attendees can relax poolside on lounge chairs shaded by umbrellas, picnic on the grassy lawn and soak in Greater Palm Springs oasis’ reliable sunshine year-round.

Venue Specs

  • 50 meter x 25 yard Olympic-size lap pool
  • Family-friendly 1,600-square-foot recreation pool
  • Playground pool with splash park & toddler slides
  • Two 20-foot water slides
  • 1- & 3-meter diving boards
  • Concession stand
  • Men's & women's locker rooms
  • Community multi-purpose room