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Things to do in Palm Desert

Our most recommended things to do in Palm Desert

Palm Springs: San Andreas Fault Open-Air Jeep Tour

1. Palm Springs: San Andreas Fault Open-Air Jeep Tour

Board your open-air Jeep and embark upon a scenic and informative exploration of the stunning landscape of an active earthquake zone where you will travel across private property only accessible by 4WD and only open for this specific tour. This exciting 4WD adventure to the private Metate Ranch reserve on the San Andreas fault line is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for any visitor to the Coachella Valley. Discover the unique geography of this tortured landscape as you explore the skeleton of the earth. Visit a natural oasis and uncover the mysteries of the hardy plants and animals carving out an existence in the dry barren landscape.  Learn about the culture and lifestyle of the Cahuilla Indians and how they used the desert’s plants for food, medicine, tools, weapons, shelter, and more. You will have an opportunity to walk among the stone corridors and sheer granite walls of ancient canyons as you learn the fascinating history of the primal forces that shaped the valleys and surrounding landscape and the people that called this place home for millennia.

Palm Springs: Self-Driving Windmill Tour

2. Palm Springs: Self-Driving Windmill Tour

The Palm Springs windmill self-driving tour is an interactive, educational, and fun tour for friends and family. This tour will guide you along with an audio program provided through an app with clearly marked destinations throughout the first commercial wind farm in Southern California. After check-in at the Tour Center, you will see a 15-minute video before your self-driving tour. There are exhibits inside the Tour Center on wind energy. You will then be given a map and directed to where to start your tour. You will then take a journey through 10 marked stops, starting with a display yard of non-operating wind turbines. Learn about the successes and failures and visit a real generating wind turbine, where you can get up close and take pictures. Continue to a solar farm and end the tour with a stop at the old gas plant.

Joshua Tree National Park: Driving Tour

3. Joshua Tree National Park: Driving Tour

Take a trip to the unique and pristine desert wonderland of our local National Park, Joshua Tree. In the comfort of our 15 passenger van, guests will see first-hand the contrast between the Colorado and Mojave Deserts while enjoying a running narration from our expert guide. World famous rock formations, unique vegetation, mining history, and wild west stories make this tour a must see for the Palm Springs visitor. The tour includes stops at the Park Visitor Center for souvenirs, Hidden Valley, and Keys View for optional nature walks. Take in this majestic and remarkable piece of California's nature and wilderness in complete comfort, and learn the fascinating stories behind the region's history.

Palm Springs: Indian Canyons Hiking Tour by Jeep

4. Palm Springs: Indian Canyons Hiking Tour by Jeep

Begin your incredible journey in a 4WD as your tour guide takes you into the lush palm oasis of the magnificent Indian Canyons of Palm Springs. Visit the historical home of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. Learn about the history, culture, legends, and stories of the Cahuilla people. Along the way, discover Rincon Village and the Cahuilla’s amazing understanding and usage of desert plants.  Embark on a guided 1-mile hike on a peaceful trail up Andreas Canyon that winds along a beautiful stream of cascading waters shaded by a canopy of California Fan Palms. Discover ancient bedrock mortars and an array of desert flora. Once you reach the top of the trail, enjoy a breathtaking view of the steep cliff walls on the opposite side. Enjoy a short walk to a hidden water cave where the water flows most of the year. At the end of your adventure, relax, refresh, and shop for unique gifts and souvenirs at the Indian Trading Post which features Indian art and artifacts, books, jewelry, pottery, baskets, weavings, and more.

Joshua Tree: National Park Jeep Tour

5. Joshua Tree: National Park Jeep Tour

This tour takes you to one of the nation's most outstanding wilderness treasures, Joshua Tree National Park. We'll take a rugged backcountry trail through the Little San Bernadino Mountains, bringing you from the Colorado Desert to over 4,000 feet above sea level at the Mojave Desert. Tour participants will be treated to magnificent unspoiled desert vistas, spectacular rock formations, unique plant and animal life, and outstanding geology. Cooler temperatures and a visit to the most remote section of our National Park also set this tour apart as a truly unique experience. See Joshua Tree National Park the way very few tourists ever do! Take your pick of riding in either an open air jeep or a climate-controlled SUV.

Palm Springs: San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour

6. Palm Springs: San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour

Enjoy a rugged wilderness drive by Jeep or SUV, deep into the heart of the San Andreas Fault. Marvel at the narrow slot canyons, magnificent vistas and colorful layers of rock in the desert badlands. This is where earthquakes are born, and you will see first hand what geologists have called “The most tortured landscape on earth.” Drive down back country trails in a Bureau of Land Management Wilderness Zone. Get up-close to the Coachella Valley's USD 500 million agriculture industry. Then, marvel as the scenery changes to sheer canyon walls and abundant native desert plants and animal life. The spectrum of layers and colors will dazzle you, and leave a lasting impression of your adventure in the California desert.

Palm Desert: Remotely Guided City Scavenger Hunt by Car

7. Palm Desert: Remotely Guided City Scavenger Hunt by Car

Learn about Palm Desert as you embark on a scavenger hunt. Play as a single team or try to win against others as your remote guide sends you clues. See the Fountain of Life in Cathedral City and see the beautiful stone sculptures of wildlife. Drive to Sunnylands Center, a huge 15-acre site known for its desert art garden. See the glass facade of the center and the Palm Springs Art Museum, famous for its collection of art by modern, contemporary, and glass artists. Continue your adventure as you visit Misty's Consignments, which houses designer furniture, fine art, and accessories.

Earthquake Canyon Express Downhill Bicycle Adventure

8. Earthquake Canyon Express Downhill Bicycle Adventure

Riders will be treated to a geological extravaganza on this 20-mile (32 km) tour, descending through the heart of the San Andreas Fault zone on a paved road towards the center of grape country near Mecca. There are no cross roads, no turns, and very little traffic which makes this a relaxing sightseeing adventure. Riders will see the stark beauty of the desert as they descend a total of 1200 feet over the route. The course takes riders from the transition zone between the Colorado and Mojave Desert, winds its way through the narrow canyon walls of Box Canyon and finishes with spectacular views of the Salton Sea, Mt. San Jacinto, the All-American Canal, and the agriculture of the eastern Coachella Valley. The tour finishes with a visit to the Oasis Date Gardens for a delicious date shake and restroom break. Check out California's beautiful nature on this exciting downhill biking tour.

Other Sightseeing Options in Palm Desert

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What people are saying about Palm Desert

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 52 reviews

Richmond was an excellent guide, he was well prepared and extremely knowledgeable. He had visual aides to help explain certain items and was able to read his audience to make sure we all had an enjoyable and interesting time and would definitely recommend him to anyone. His good sense of humour added to his charm.

I took my three sons (18,13,6) on The San Andreas tour and it was awesome! Our guide Annie was wonderful. She was very knowledgeable and safe! It was truly a unique experience. The tour was three hours long and we were engaged the entire time. My boys didn’t want it to end!

Amazing! Never thought I could get to the mills sooo close! Make sure you watch the into video - it will answer many questions you may have! Download the app and use it with your headsets as it tends to stop when phone screen goes off..

Fantastic tour and very knowledgeable guide. I would recommend booking with Charles.

Super nice and passionate guide. really nice as an excursion, to recommend