colorado desert

#360 Borrego Palm Canyon

Borrego Palm Canyon is a stunning 3 mile hike in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Gorgeous rocky waterfalls surround this lush Palm Oasis, the largest in the park while more than 80 migratory birds use it as a watering hole alongside Desert Bighorn Sheep. Visit after a rain for gushing falls and cooler weather. 


#347 Moorten Botanical Garden

Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium has been a Palm Springs tradition since 1939. This one acre garden packs in 3,000 desert cacti from around the globe including North American Deserts: Mojave, Sonoran, Chihuahuan, Great Basin & Colorado Plateau as well as Mexico, Africa and South America. Enjoy the wonderful mirage of cacti along its stunning trails.


#335 Andreas Canyon

Part of the Indian Canyons of Palm Springs, Andreas Canyon is the perfect natural Palm Oasis. Stunning fan palms surround rock canyons and 150 plant species along the lush Andreas Creek. One visit will give new meaning to the idea of the desert.


#318 Willis Palm Oasis

Willis Palm Oasis, located in the Coachella Valley Preserve, is a great place for solitude. A half-mile hike takes you to the base of the oasis which can be explored by hiking the cliffs and springs. Climbing to the top provides sweeping views of Palm Springs, the Coachella Valley and the San Jacinto Mountains making it the perfect spot to watch the sunset.


#305 Keys View

Keys View offers a stunning panoramic vista of the desert from Joshua Tree National Park. Located on the edge of the Little San Bernardino Mountains, endless views of Palm Springs, the Coachella Valley, San Jacinto Peak, San Andreas Fault, Salton Sea and Mexico on a clear day can all be enjoyed from this must-see point.


#253 Palm Canyon

Palm Canyon is a magnificent palm oasis on the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Reservation. These natural palm canyons are what gives Palm Springs its name and are the only palm trees that grow naturally in California. Stunning trails wind along palm filled creeks of desert terrain while the San Jacinto Mountains give an impressive backdrop. A variety of trails for every skill level make this a must for any Palm Springs visit.


#209 Galleta Meadows

Galleta Meadows is a public art installation around the city of Borrego Springs. The metal sculptures are created by Mexican artist Ricardo Breceda and were envisioned by land owner Dennis Avery. He wanted free art for the world to enjoy in this gorgeous desert environment. More than 130 sculptures bring to life creatures that once roamed the Colorado desert from camels, sloths, raptors and elephants. The treasure hunt to find them makes it all the more fun.


#176 Salton Sea State Recreation Area

The Salton Sea is one of the most fascinating spots in Southern California. Created by accident between 1905-07 while trying the reroute the Colorado River, water seeped through diversion canals for two years and settled into the Cahuilla Valley creating a new sea. Being in the low desert, everyone assumed the water would evaporate; however, the sea had other plans. Recreational resorts sprung up and the Salton Sea became a thriving new Riviera and yacht paradise.

With its lack of moving water supply, the sea became extremely salty causing the introduced fish to die off in the thousands. The beaches are made up of salt and fish bones, needless to say, causing the area surrounding the sea to become undesirable and uninhabitable. Ghost towns surround the shores while bird watchers come to the recreation area to enjoy the variety of birds that use the sea as a stopover between flight. Prepare your noses for a bizarre visit.


#166 Shelter Valley

Directly along the historic Great Southern Overland Stage Route lies a magnificent valley known as Shelter Valley or geologically, Earthquake Valley. This desert valley, once home to the Kumeyaay Native Americans, is one of the most beautiful spots in all of Southern California. It is protected by Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and the Pacific Crest Trail passes through. Spring wildflowers dot the ground while mountains rise majestically in the background. With its clean air, light streams down and paints the ground and makes it the perfect spot for stargazing at night.


#154 Cholla Cactus Garden

The Cholla Cactus Garden in Joshua Tree National Park is a strikingly beautiful natural garden that wraps a quarter mile. Nicknamed the 'teddy-bear' cholla, these cacti look soft and fuzzy but are extremely sharp and pointy. Cholla grow between 1 and 5 feet tall and bloom in the late spring.