Visiting Tahquitz Canyon in Palm Springs, California


Tahquitz Canyon is a natural wonder located in Palm Springs, California. This 60-foot waterfall and its surrounding landscape are popular tourist destinations and for good reason. Visitors can enjoy hiking and picnicking in the park, as well as admiring the beauty of the falls.

About Tahquitz Canyon

Tahquitz Canyon is located in Palm Springs, California, within the San Jacinto Mountains. It is recognized as a haven for adventure, recovery, and awe-inspiring sights.

It’s part of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and is regarded as one of the region’s best-preserved and most beautiful, cultured places. It’s also well-known for its hiking route, which runs through a red rock canyon.

Tahquitz Canyon was named by the Cahuilla Indians of the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation, who considered the Tahquitz Falls and its surroundings to be sacred.

The canyon was used as a place of refuge and healing, and the waterfall was believed to have spiritual powers as they were deemed as ancient irrigation systems.

Today, Tahquitz Canyon is a popular tourist destination and a great place for hiking and picnicking. The canyon is also home to a variety of plant and animal life, including the endangered Palm Springs Indian Paintbrush.

What should I bring to Tahquitz Canyon?

Make sure to pack plenty of water and snacks if you’re planning on making this a longer hike. You’ll also want to make sure to wear sunscreen, a hat, and closed-toe shoes.

Depending on the time of year you visit, you may also want to pack a jacket as the higher elevation can lead to cooler temperatures.

Also, ensure you bring water in a Camelbak or water bottle given the heat conditions in Southern California.

What should I expect?

The hike to Tahquitz Falls is definitely beautiful, but it’s also very strenuous with some large boulders and steep cliffs.

The trail is mostly uphill with a lot of stairs, so be prepared for a workout. The waterfall itself is 60 feet tall and very impressive, but swimming is not allowed in the pool at the base.

If you’re looking for a moderately easy two-mile loop trail with a stunning payoff, Tahquitz Falls is definitely worth a visit. Just make sure to come prepared with plenty of water and snacks, and you’ll be sure to enjoy your time in this natural Palm Springs in Southern California.

How to Get to Tahquitz Canyon

Tahquitz Canyon is part of the Indian Canyons located in Palm Springs, California. The easiest way to get there is by car.

  • If you are coming from the Palm Springs Visitor Center, head south on Palm Canyon Dr and turn right on W Mesquite Ave, Palm Springs.
  • If you are coming from Palm Desert, head north on Highway 111 (Palm Canyon Dr), take the exit for W Mesquite Ave, and turn left. The Tahquitz visitor center will be on your right.

The official address of the visitor center is 500 W Mesquite Ave, Palm Springs, CA 92264.

If you are coming from out of town, there are plenty of great nearby attractions to explore such as the Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center, and plenty of amazing Palm Springs restaurants. You can easily make a full day out of your trip.

See Related: Best Day Trips from Palm Springs, California

Tahquitz Canyon Trail

The Tahquitz Canyon Loop Trail is a 2 miles (3.1 kilometers) hike that is known to be heavily trafficked. The trail climbs 350 feet and features different rock art, old irrigation systems, and a gushing stream on its rocky crevices.

Visitors can enjoy hiking and picnicking in the park, as well as admiring the beauty of the falls.

The 60-foot waterfall is a popular tourist destination and for good reason. Tahquitz Canyon is a natural wonder located in Palm Springs, California that offers stunning views and a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy.

Whether you’re looking to hike, picnic, or simply admire the beauty of the falls, Tahquitz Canyon is the perfect spot for a day trip from downtown Palm Springs.

Tahquitz Falls

At the top of the trail, the seasonal 60-foot waterfall is found known as Tahquitz Falls.

The view of the waterfall is serene; with its crystal clear, shallow waters, it’s said that it was best seen shortly after a rainstorm. The falls stem from the Tahquitz Creek located within the Indian Canyons.

The Tahquitz Falls are within the boundaries included in the National Register of Historic Places. The name of the canyon and its waterfall is from the spirit Tahquitz, a Cahuilla native of the Agua Caliente folklore.

Tahquitz Canyon Visitor Center

If you are looking to learn more about the area and get a guided tour, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians rangers provides interpretive hikes. They give historical information on the culture and customs of the area.

As well, they provide tips on where to go and what to see while you are visiting. The park rangers will teach you about the tribe’s history and their desert journey as you trek and enjoy the scenery of the canyon. The tour also lasts two-and-half-hour.

Tahquitz Canyon offers ranger-led interpretive hikes that are perfect for visitors of all ages. These ranger-led hikes on the trail start at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m.

You’ll also find rock art, including one of the original Cahuilla village sites, at this site. The rangers will also describe how indigenous plants like honey mesquite and yucca were used for medicine, food, and dyes.

However, you can also opt out of the ranger-led interpretive hikes. The hiking trail is family-friendly and highlights the beautiful waterfall. The track is compatible with all skill levels.

The review of previous visitors and travelers sums up that it was easy to traverse even with its lack of shade and changes in elevation in some of its areas.


  • Adults: $15
  • Children (6-12): $7
  • Military: Free (with U.S. military ID)
  • Annual Pass: $125

Purchase your day-hike tickets at the visitor center in Tahquitz Canyon, Palm Springs.

Tickets and annual passes may also be obtained at the Agua Caliente Visitor’s Counter in the Palm Springs Visitor Center, 2901 North Palm Canyon Drive.

See Related: Most Exotic Places in California

Best Time to Hike Tahquitz Canyon – Palm Springs, California

The waterfall’s temperature reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit, if not hotter than that, during the summer (June and July) and early fall, making it a popular hiking path that is best done between October and May.

The flowing waterfalls are most visible in the winter and spring. People also recommend bringing at least 1 liter of water per person, although it depends on how long you plan to stay away from civilization.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a fun and beautiful place to visit in Palm Springs, California, be sure to check out Tahquitz Canyon.

This natural wonder has something for everyone, from hiking and picnicking to admiring the stunning 60-foot waterfall. The wonders of Tahquitz Canyon, which are family and nature friendly, are open to all.

So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head on over!

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Is Tahquitz Canyon hike hard?

The hike can be difficult for some, as the trail is steep with several rock steps. You need good balance and be able to ascend and descend rocks up to 12 inches. There are only a few shade spots in these canyons and there is no bathroom facility or drinking fountain.

Can you swim at Tahquitz Canyon?

Yes, visitors can enjoy swimming at the Tahquitz Canyon trail. The falls rock wall provides a beautiful backdrop for a swim, and the sandy bottom makes for a comfortable place to take a dip.

How long of a hike is Tahquitz Falls?

The Tahquitz Falls hiking trail can be considered a moderate- to difficult hike. With more than 1 mile of steep, rocky terrain complete with waterfall and water crossings the trek is not easy for the novice hiker.

There are three loops on an unmarked path which range from 1.25 to 1.9 miles total. This would be considered a quick hike for most people, but there is also the option of taking a less-traveled path which could add on time and distance.

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