Situated among the foothills above the floor of the Coachella Valley, the inhabitants of Desert Hot Springs get a bird’s eye view of the bustling life of the rich and famous in nearby Palm Springs.Plenty of sunshine with average temperatures in the mid to upper 80s allows visitors to enjoy one of the areas many great resorts, shopping, or outdoor sports, year round.
This relaxed spa town, supplied with abundant streams of hot mineral water that are piped to the surface to fill the pools and tubs of hotels and spa resorts, is a perfect getaway for a day or weekend getaway.
Long after being discovered by the Agua Caliente Indians, modern day developers found the springs in the area and transformed this small town into a Mecca for vacationers who wanted to soak in what they believed to be restorative waters.
Travelers arrive from Canada, the Midwest, and the East, all escaping their harsh winter climates in the California Desert.
Many of the town’s reasonably priced spas and hotels are located along Hacienda Avenue. Most of them have their own thermal wells. For hot spring fans, this is paradise.
Soaking in hot mineral water is just one of the activities you can do in the Desert Hot Springs.
Mission Lakes Country Club has an 18-hole golf course, located at the northwest edge of town, as well as the world-class Desert Dunes. The first desert course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. features 18 challenging holes laid out among large dunes and mature desert trees.
Weekend Activities Guide
One of the area’s most interesting attraction in the area is Cabot’s Old Indian Pueblo, a striking adobe building, hand-made, and created from reclaimed and found objects by a single man — Cabot Yerxa.
Cabot began building in 1939 and over the next 24 years created the four-story, 5,000 square feet structure that includes 35 rooms, 150 windows, and 65 doors.
At the time of his death in 1965, the 81-year old Cabot had not yet finished the building. The property was abandoned and continuously vandalized until it was eventually donated to the city of Desert Hot Springs under the condition that they preserve it and use it as a museum.
The museum is now open daily except Tuesdays. Inside you will find a collection of unique Native American artifacts, as well as early 20th-century photographs and personal treasures from Cabot’s Alaskan adventures.
Desert Hot Springs is well situated for visiting many areas nearby in the Coachella Valley. Joshua Tree National Park is just to the north, the Salton Sea to the southwest, and the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountain ranges to the southwest as well as the Little San Bernardino Mountains on the northeast.
If you are planning a weekend getaway one of two well-known and largest of the spa-hotels is Desert Hot Spring Spa Hotel. With built in classic Mid-Century Modern style, the 50-room Desert Hot Springs Spa hotel offers eight natural hot mineral water pools ranging in temperature from 70°F to 104°F.
Two Bunch Palms is the second of the two spa hotels in the area that’s worth a trip to the area all by itself. This exclusive resort sits on a 28-acre palm oasis and has two hot mineral pools, a sauna, swimming pool, and tennis courts.
The retreat has a history, which becomes embellished with the passing years. It is said to have been the hideaway of gangster Al Capone, complete with gambling casino and a lookout tower for security.
Desert Hot Springs only offers a few dining options however Palm Springs is a short drive and has almost unlimited restaurants to choose from.
A short drive to the east is Thousand Palms Oasis. Free and well worth a visit, it is one of the best palm oasis’ in the Coachella Valley. It’s well-marked trails are great for hiking and it has wonderful vistas overlooking the surrounding valley.
You can take an easy two-mile hike to see the oasis or you can take far longer trails of up to six miles. During the spring, you can see wild desert flowers and wildlife including lizards, birds and a variety of other critters that inhabit the desert landscape. It’s a great way to spend a day if you need a day off from the links.
Desert Hot Springs is located 112 miles from Los Angeles via 1-10 or from San Diego via 1-15 and 1-10. Desert Hot Springs is on the direct route from Los Angeles to Phoenix.
Palm Springs International Airport is only twelve miles away and Sun Line buses provide service between Desert Hot Springs and other Coachella Valley cities