Waterfalls in Greater Palm Springs
Greater Palm Springs is known as a hiker’s paradise, with more than 300 days of sunshine each year, miles of trails waiting to be explored and a diverse landscape ranging from alpine wilderness to sandy open spaces. But tucked away inside the twisted canyons of this outdoor oasis lie another beautiful sight to behold: waterfalls. Imagine reaching the end of a hike across cactus-strewn terrain and hearing the soft, steady stream of water cascading over an outcrop of rocks. It’s soothing. Restorative. Pure magic.
These falls—and water in particular—have long been a source of life for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the area’s first inhabitants. Today, you can see and experience these natural wonders for yourself by visiting Tahquitz Canyon and the Indian Canyons, the tribe’s ancestral land. Whether you’re looking for a fun workout or a quiet place to meditate, these three Greater Palm Springs waterfall hikes are a must:
Nestled deep inside Tahquitz Canyon, this spectacular 60-foot waterfall appears in Frank Capra’s 1937 film Lost Horizon and is one of the most popular family-friendly hikes in Greater Palm Springs. Your best bet for seeing Tahquitz Falls is during the winter and spring months, when the mountain-fed waters are at their strongest, gushing from a towering rock wall and collecting at the bottom in a crystal-clear, shallow pool. Begin your waterfall chase at the Tahquitz Canyon Visitor Center and embark on the 2-mile loop trail through native desert flora.
Seven Sisters Waterfall
This seasonal, three-tiered waterfall is just a 2-mile hike through the beautiful Washingtonia filifera palm groves of Murray Canyon in the Indian Canyons (4 miles roundtrip). Named after the seven streams of water that flow one into the other, the Seven Sisters feeds into a gentle mountain stream that must be crossed more than a dozen times during the hike and offers travelers a secluded spot to stop and rest after the uphill climb. Many even pack a picnic and enjoy their lunch at the base of the falls before heading back down to civilization.
West Fork Falls
It’s an easy trek to this seasonal fall, located just 340 feet from the Trading Post parking lot in Palm Canyon. The shimmering waters can usually be seen cascading between smooth, granite boulders from December to March—but bring your hiking boots! You’ll have to climb through a small rock crevice to reach the pool.