Monday, December 15, 2014

Palm Springs Excursion Overview - 12/11/14 thru 12/14/14

Cairn above Palm Springs, California

Kelso Train Depot

Caravanning through Amboy
Everyone knew that there was a huge storm invading the west coast this weekend and it would include Palm Springs in its wrath. Yet, around thirty hikers still made their way to the desert oasis in California by way of caravan through Kelso and Joshua Tree National Park. We split into three groups at Joshua Tree and did the hike of our choosing. (Barker Dam & Wall Street Mill, Ryan Mountain, or Lost Horse Mine Loop) We arrived in Palm Springs and checked in later that day to wait and see just how bad the weather would get.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Pow Wow
 The next morning, drizzling rain began around 8am ... about the time we were to start a hike. We pow wowed at the hotel and decided we would try again at 1:30pm. The crowd dispersed and proceeded to find all sorts of things to do while the rain came down. The writer and five other hikers became deeply involved in a game of "Uno!" The time passed quickly and, after lunch, we met at the hotel again.

Rain Comes to the Desert


Short Hike after Rain Quits
 The rain had subsided and we were ready for a little exercise so we found a trailhead near town and hiked a 4 mile loop with 1000 feet of elevation gain while we had view after view of the mountains, clouds and sunset. The hike used several trails in the Goat Trails hills found south of Palm Springs. We got back to the cars as it was getting a little dark with a good workout under our belts. It wasn't the day we had planned but it was a good day.

The next day, the sun broke through the clouds early. We decided to do the hikes that had been planned for the day before. Murray Hill was the big one! 9 miles and 2700 feet of elevation gain.

A Sunny Day for Murray Hill

Palm Springs Windmills (Weather staying above Mountains)

Murray Hill Trail
 Murray Hill proved to be everything that had been promised. The climb was tough. The views were gorgeous. And, the company was fantastic!

The next day, the weather continued to be perfect (in the 60's). So, we went to Indian Canyons and hiked up Palm Canyon to the Stone Pools. The rain had made the landscape very colorful in a deserty kind of way.

Detailed entries of four of the weekend hikes will follow this overview.

A very successful excursion in spite of the weather. Thank you Chris for all your hard work.

Hummingbirds at Indian Canyons Trading Post

Palm Canyon

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