Hike distance: 6.4 miles
Murray Canyon = Water and Beauty
Murray Canyon is part of the Indian Canyons, which is home to the Agua Caliente Cahuilla tribe. In 1876, the US Federal Government deeded the Agua Caliente people 32,000 acres of land many of which are within Palm Springs city limits. Today, Murray and adjacent canyons remain part of the Agua Caliente Reservation and the $9.00 pp entrance fee they charge helps to maintain the trails and land.
A stream running through the Andreas and Murray canyons creating a small haven where vegetation thrives; quite the change from our typical desert trails.
At the start of the trail, there were some great examples of rocks deformed by the angular thrusting movement of the tectonic plates in this area.
The trail follows the stream as it wanders through the canyon. Abundant California fan palms grow along the waters edge. The Washingtonia filifera or California fan palm is the only native palm to the United States (specifically the Southwest) and has been seen growing naturally in the wild as far east as Colorado and north to Wyoming. Fossils of the palm have been found dating back almost 50-70 million years.
The canyon winds up into the crevices of the San Jacinto Mountains, meandering among palm tree oases and crisscrossing a crystal-clear stream.
While the canyon was wide, stream crossings were easy.
A few spots required us to stretch just a little to make the crossing. Not bad when you consider I have to jump across while holding on to the camera.
It may look like Dave is walking on water but he can't.
The further we went the deeper the water.
But with this high water came 'crossing aids'.
The sound of rushing water filled the air.
Finally, we reached the point where we could no longer cross the stream wearing our boots.
The water was so cool and refreshing.
With our boots back on, we continued hiking until it was time to break for lunch and then start the return trip.
The high water in the stream made this such an enjoyable hike. It was so different than our Palm Canyon Hike in the Agua Caliente Reservation from earlier in the winter. Click on the hyperlinked text above to navigate to to the Palm Canyon Hike from January 2019.