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There's no shortage of ways to explore the diverse natural beauty that is Greater Palm Springs. Some adventure by jeep, others by hot air balloon, and there are those who prefer horseback or bicycle.

Yet many of us believe there is no better path toward exploration than your own two feet, mixing fitness with up- close discoveries of the most beautiful areas of the oasis, from flora and fauna to amazing vistas. Here are some tips to safe hiking and 10 scenic hikes not to be missed:

1. There is no portable(drinking) water available.
2. Hike with a friend. Tell a friend where you will be hiking and when you expect to return.
3. Know your limitations. Stay within your capabilities.
4. Know your trail. Use a map and compass when hiking in the back country.
5. Hydrate your body the night before. Drink water until your urine is clear. No alcohol; alcohol speeds up

6. Carry as much water as you can. Rule of thumb, you will need at least one quart of water per hour of hiking.

Drink constantly, do not ration water. Drinking when you are thirsty is too late. Freeze your water the night

before three quarters full and top off before leaving.
7. Protect yourself from the sun. Dress in layers. Wear loose clothing; long sleeve shirt, long pants, wide brim

hat, sunglasses, bandanna, sturdy shoes. Use sunblock and chapstick.
8. Pace yourself.
9. Keep children near you and stay on trial.
10. Knowthesymptomsandtreatmentforheatrelatedillnesses,forexample,heatexhaustionandheatstroke. 11. Bewareofrattlesnakes,theydonotalwaysrattle.Assumeallsnakesaredangerous.Payattentiontowhere

you step and where you place your hands. Let the snake go its way. Do not harm or handle snakes. 12. When hiking in the back country you need to be prepared for emergencies. Below is a list of items 13. A hat may come in handy:
• First aid kit (Basic items should include antiseptic, bandaids, bandages, tweezers, safety pin, moleskin.) • Flashlight
• Lighter
• Signal mirror
• Whistle
• Pocket knife

1. Andreas Canyon Trail at Indian Canyon
The casual, two-mile hike amid Palm Springs' historic Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians tribal grounds counts among the most unique in the region. Part of the Indian Canyons' 60 miles of hiking trails, Andreas Canyon Trail’s adjoining stream gives rise to bountiful vegetation which starkly contrasts the texture of the canyon's rocky rout- ing.
38520 S Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs CA

2. Araby Trail
This six-mile (up and back) hike in Palm Springs may be accessed for free via the Rimcrest/Southridge development. For lovers of both iconic architecture and celebrity, the greatest beauty may well prove the trail's proximity to the legendary, John Lautner-designed Bob and Dolores Hope estate. Oh, and for home seekers, let it be
known that the "spaceship" structure can be yours . . . for a cool $25 million.

3. Big Morongo Canyon Preserve
Located off Highway 62 in Morongo Valley, these 31,000 preserved acres are accessed with free admittance and present a host of beatific hiking opportunities ranging from three-tenths of a mile to an 11-mile round-tripper through Big Morongo Canyon. Diverse plant life is abundant, as are more than 240 species of birds.

4. Joshua Tree National Park
A sweeping array of nature and fitness treks greets guests across the 1,250-square-mile breadth of space, which makes Joshua Tree among the most popular hiking, camping and rock climbing attractions both nationally and internationally. For leisurely hikes, check out the three-mile 49 Palms Oasis hike or the four-mile Lost Horse Mine & Mountain hike, both of which are filed under "Moderately Strenuous" by the National Park Service. 760.367.5500

5. Lake Coahuila Recreational Area
Just six miles from Old Town La Quinta, the 710-acre park at the foothills of the Santa Rosa Mountains offers a great outdoors family day with its easily-accessible hikes, coupled with a host of recreational selections ranging from shore fishing to horseback riding.
58075 Jefferson Street, La Quinta, CA 92253

6. Murray Canyon Trail at Indian Canyons
This hike through Indian Canyons offers a slightly more enhanced challenge than Andreas Canyon. Ranging from two to six miles, the hike ascends higher into the wildlife surrounds of the San Jacinto’s and reaches the splendor of the Seven Sisters Waterfall.
38520 S Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs CA

7. Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Hiking
Ascend the 10-minute ride from the Tram's Valley Station (at 2,600-feet elevation) to the bounty of the Mountain Station (at better than 8,500-feet). Awaiting hikers at Mount San Jacinto State Park are 54 miles of trails, ranging from scenic walks to extreme tests. For a happy balance, explore the 2.5-mile hike to comely Round Valley.

8. Palm Springs Museum Trail
Located behind the Palm Springs Art Museum's north parking lot, this free, two-mile hike presents a 900-foot ele- vation gain which culminates in an exceptional, picnic tabled-view of the city and valley below.

9. Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve
More than 25 miles of hiking opportunities define the Coachella Valley Preserve that contains the lush Thousand Palms Oasis. Nestled into the north end of Indio Hills, the true and unique palm oasis is nourished by the waters seeping from the San Andreas Fault. For a secluded hike of measured demand, try the 4.5-mile loop of the Willis Palms Trail.

10. Whitewater Canyon Preserve
Located amid the bosom of the Bureau of Land Management's San Gorgonio Wilderness Area, these 2,800 acres are part of the Wild Lands Conservancy (California's largest non-profit nature preserve system) and are home to boundless species of endangered birds and protected wildlife. Free programs are offered across the calendar for ongoing, group and special events, ranging from Bird Walks and the Canyon View Loop Hike to stargazing.

11. Bump and Grind Trail
The Rancho Mirage “Bump-n-Grind” trail is quickly becoming one of the Coachella Valley’s most popular trails. It actually is known by several different names, including the Desert Drive Trail, Patton Trail (some people say it was built by General Patton’s troops, Desert Mirage Trail, the ever-popular Dog Poop Trail (plastic bags and a trash receptacle used to be made available at the beginning of the trail to users for animal waste) and more. Please keep in mind Palm Desert has amended it trail-use ordinance, legally prohibiting all but service dogs from most Palm Desert trails. The official reason dogs have been banned is to preserve habitat that is home to a number of endan- gered and protected species, in particular the Peninsular bighorn sheep.

12. Tahquitz Canyon
The Tahquitz Canyon Trail is a two-mile loop trail which leads to Tahquitz Falls and back. From the Visitor Center to the falls you will be gaining 350 feet in elevation. The trail is steep and rocky with many rock steps to climb. You must have good balance and be able to climb up and down rock steps that may be as high as 12 - 15 inches.500 W. Mesquite Ave, Palm Springs, CA

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