Top Ten Outdoor Activities to Enjoy in Palm Springs

Palm Springs' quintessential sunshine and warm weather make for the perfect vacation spot for outdoor enthusiasts, whether you're into adventurous activities like rock climbing or milder pastimes like nature walks and guided hikes. No matter how you prefer to enjoy the outdoors, you'll find plenty of opportunities to get outside in Palm Springs.

The Coachella Valley is a hiker’s paradise, thanks to trails set amidst the likes of Joshua Tree National Park, where grand, alien-like boulders and twisted Joshua trees set the scene for a day of outdoor fun. Palm Springs’ Indian Canyons are another popular choice with visitors looking to enjoy the outdoors, thanks to its relatively easy trails that run along streams, waterfalls and canyon walls against the San Jacinto Mountains. 

You don’t have to enjoy the outdoors by foot, though: Desert Adventures offers guided jeep tours through local outdoor wonders like the San Andreas Fault, while Balloon Above the Desert gives you unobstructed views of the Coachella Valley from the basket of a hot air balloon as you float above the desert.

Palm Springs is also a golfer's paradise, thanks to more than 100 courses throughout the desert, many of which boasting notable architects like Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. Two popular choices where you can tee off include Desert Willow Golf Resort in Palm Desert and the PGA West Golf Club in La Quinta.

Looking for more ways to enjoy the outdoors in the desert? Check out the full list of Palm Springs' 10 best outdoor activities below.



Ever wonder what a roadrunner and coyote really look like? At The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, you can meet the real life inspiration for these desert-dwelling "Looney Tunes" characters. This Palm Desert zoo focuses on educating visitors about...  Read More



The prestigious PGA West Golf Club in La Quinta boasts six golf courses designed by some of the best names in the industry, including Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. Pete Dye's Stadium course was ranked one of the top 100 courses to...  Read More



The Coachella Valley is a beautiful, peaceful sight from the air, and the picturesque landscape as seen from above is filled with vineyards, polo fields, golf courses, and orchards. Older kids can enjoy the views on a family-friendly ride. Perks...  Read More



Santa Rosa and San Jacinto National Monument provides the picturesque background for the Coachella Valley. The Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains line the desert, and in the winter months, these peaks are snowcapped for the ultimate photo...  Read More



Sparkling springs set amid 20,000 acres of lush greenery provide a haven for a myriad desert creatures, just five miles outside of Palm Springs. In the center is a 1000-acre, idyllic palm oasis that served as the backdrop for Cecil De Mille's...  Read More



If you're an outdoorsy type, you'll be delighted by this high-altitude park's 54 miles of hiking trails, camping and picnic areas, and guided wilderness mule rides during snow-free months. Nestled between the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and the...  Read More



Once a community center for the native Cahuilla people, the Agua Caliente Indian Canyons are a recreational oasis for hikers, horseback riders and nature lovers. Protected by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the area's hiking trails...  Read More



Desert Willow Golf Resort in Palm Desert offers two of the area's best courses for those looking to tee off in the desert. The pristinely kept greens of both the Firecliff and Mountain View courses are well-manicured with desert flowers, bushes...  Read More



Discover the outdoors from the open bed of a red jeep on a Desert Adventures tour. The tour company specializes in eco tours of the Coachella Valley, including tours of Joshua Tree National Park, the Agua Caliente Indian Canyons, Mecca Hills and...  Read More

Joshua Tree National Park


Joshua Tree National Park is about a 45-minute drive from Palm Springs, but it feels like a world away. Filled with hiking trails, scenic vistas and larger-than-life rock formations, Joshua Tree is the perfect destination for those looking to...  Read More


Meet Marissa Willman

Marissa Willman moved to the Coachella Valley in 2001 and loves discovering the best that the desert has to offer. As a Palm Springs local, Marissa enjoys sharing her knowledge of this desert...  More About Marissa