Hiking Trails of Palm Springs

If you're wintering in the desert resort, best pack your sneaks.

Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism

THE CITY OF PALM SPRINGS... stays as bustling and as busy as all get-out, even well into the summer when the words "three digits," as in "three-digit temperatures," are bandied about on a pretty regular basis. There's never a time when someone isn't in some swanky bar sipping something icy and redolent of lemon or lime, and there's never a time when someone isn't lounging poolside while simultaneously sporting huginormous sunglasses. ("Huginormous" is officially slightly larger than merely ginormous, of course.) The resort town hums throughout the year, even into late spring and summer, when its Restaurant Week pops up and other keep-cool to-dos. But its prime time? Well, it is hard to argue that winter, and early spring, is kind of its thing. The Palm Springs International Film Festival, Modernism Week, and Coachella all have their day -- er, week-plus -- in the sun. But what if you want a bit more sun, after those cocktail parties and film screenings and nights listening to tunes on the polo field in Indio? Why you pop by the Palm Spring Bureau of Tourism's HQ and you scroll through a caboodle of interesting area hikes, the kind of rambles that take you past glorious desert flora and sights.

THE HIKING TRAILS... suggested by the travel-minded outfit are grouped by "easy," "moderate," and "strenuous." On the easy roster? Look for a pair of strolls in the two-mile to three-and-a-half-mile range. The Andreas Canyon Trail is a loop with a view of "a quiet stream" while the Tahquitz Canyon walk is an "in/out" deal that includes a waterfall. The more challenging hikes cover a good bit of geography, with rambles above the Bob Hope Estate, an "old tungsten mine" cameo, and various vistas included. There's a good bit to choose from, depending on what you're up for, but do read the "advice and reminders" before heading into true desert country (rattlesnakes are one local denizen you may come across). Do you only know the pools and pubs of Palm Springs? Best meet its alfresco side next time you're through town, especially if you happen to arrive in the heart of cooler winter.

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