Palm Springs Hike Delights All

Club hikers in Black Rock Canyon in Joshua Tree National Park (photo by Theresa Williamson)

Warren Wasescha, Sun Lakes Hiking Club

After a lot of good planning from the organizing team, the payoff for this year’s Special Hike in Palm Springs, Calif., was a great trip had by all.

Day 1 hikes began after a bag lunch picnic at the Sand to Snow National Monument, part of the national conservation lands. As the name of the monument suggests, we hiked in sandy lowlands and hills while viewing snowcapped peaks all around us. As one hiker said, it felt like the opening scene from The Sound of Music.

Day 2 hikes all centered around Palm Canyon, the home of the world’s largest native California Fan Palm oasis. It is the original ancestral home of the Atcitcem Clan, or “People of Good,” and became home that day for all of us. We enjoyed the striking view of what seemed like thousands of mature palm trees growing in a valley gorge carved out by rushing spring-fed waters. It made sense to me afterwards how Palm Springs got its name. The Mellow and Moderate hiking groups stayed closer to the water and palms. The Motivated group ventured up to a high mesa to take on the sites of the palms below and the snowcapped mountains above.

Day 3 hikes were at Black Rock Canyon in Joshua Tree National Park where large Joshua trees grow in dense clusters and pinyon-juniper forests dominate. The views were striking and very different, and a good reminder that Special Hikes can take you to places that give you a fresh change from the variety of hiking options we have here at home in the Valley.

After a day of hiking, our hotel offered us seven different hot water, spring-fed hot tubs and a spring-fed swimming pool in which to relax. We also had time for socializing and dinners, painstakingly planned by DeEtte Faith and her team. Henry Silverblatt gave us a moment to laugh during a trivia game focused on the area. And Ted Maresh gave us a moment to smile by offering a projected montage of photos taken during our many hikes during the season.

All in all, a good time was had by all and a reminder of the rewards of taking time out for a Special Hike.

Want to be part of next year’s Special Hike planning committee? Reach out to DeEtte Faith and tell her of your interest. Like to join us next year? We’d love to have you be a part of this hike.

Like hiking? All upcoming and past hikes, along with information about our club, can be viewed on our Meetup site. Just type “Sun Lakes Hiking Club” into your web browser to locate us. Questions not found on our Meetup site? Please reach out to our president Stu Frost at [email protected].

We are a friendly, inclusive group of hikers who welcome all able-bodied hikers. Our goal is to make group hiking fun, challenging, social, and safe. We look forward to hiking with you!