Desert Hot Springs is a tranquil and accessible California destination for visitors seeking an authentic spa experience in a natural desert environment. Unlike most international spa destinations, Desert Hot Springs caters to visitors of diverse economic means.
Though most people come to chill, visitors can choose from a wide range of entertainment options, including a visit to Cabot’s Pueblo Museum, hiking in nearby Joshua Tree National Monument, local dining, shopping local and more.
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park covers nearly 800,000 acres and offers visitors the unique chance to see two large desert ecosystems come together in one amazing park. Few areas in the world so vividly illustrate the contrast between the “low” Colorado Desert, where Desert Hot Springs and the rest of the Coachella Valley is located, and the “high” Mojave Desert, best known as the habitat of the undisciplined Joshua tree.
The park lies in the Pacific Flyway of migratory birds and is a rest stop for many. Some 240 species have been observed there. Spring is an excellent season for birding, as well as wildflower viewing. Visitors year-round will be fascinated by the park’s surreal geological features.
Desert Hot Springs is the gateway to Joshua Tree National Park, which is a 30-35 minute drive from our resorts.
Cabot’s Pueblo Museum
In 1913, Cabot Yerxa arrived in the desert as one of its first homesteaders. He built the Eagle’s Nest Cabin – the first permanent building in the area. He dug three wells. The third tapped into the Mission Springs Aquifer – the famed future water supply for the city of Desert Hot Springs.
By 1941, there was talk of building a town around the water supply so Yerxa, an artist, architect, writer, translator, adventurer, discoverer and mystic — built a 35-room Hopi-inspired pueblo near the mountains. He hauled sand in a Model T Ford and mixed it with rocks and water by hand. He did most of the construction alone. He toiled for over 20 years on the beloved pueblo and in 1965, at age 83, died of a heart attack.
During a vacation to Desert Hot Springs, Cole Eyraud discovered the property in a state of disrepair. He purchased it, and thanks to his efforts, the pueblo now stands as it did when Cabot Yerxa built it. It has become Cabot’s Pueblo Museum.
Today, the pueblo – a “Riverside County Point of Historic Interest” – houses an amazing collection of Native American pottery, arrowheads, turn of the 20th century photographs (including a group shot featuring Cabot Yerxa and Teddy Roosevelt, a close friend of Cabot’s mother), original oil paintings by Yerxa, a sculpture by Chief Semu of the Chumash tribe (a dear friend of Cabot’s), furnishings (like Buffalo Bill Cody’s chair) and more. It also houses his Alaskan collections – artifacts he gathered while living with the Alaskan Inuits. Among his many achievements, he wrote the first Inuit–English dictionary, which is in the Smithsonian Institution.
When Cole Eyraud died, he left the pueblo to the City of Desert Hot Springs.
Desert Hot Springs is home to a variety of quaint, family-owned and independent restaurants. Visitors have their choice of American, Mexican, Italian, Korean, Thai cuisine and more. Here are a few of our favorites:
Mission Lakes Country Club, 8484 Clubhouse Blvd.
The Cottage Too, 66230 Pierson Blvd.
Kam Lun, 66610 8th Street
The Gray Cafe, 13104 Palm Drive
Domo, 13440 Palm Drive
Thai Palms, 12070 Palm Drive
Palm Springs Aerial Tram
Desert Hot Springs affords an excellent view of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which is located at the entrance to the Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness Area. From the start of the 10-minute, 2.5-mile ride through five life zones, visitors are transported from an elevation of 2,643 feet to 8,516 feet.
Activities at the Top of the Tram, where it’s nearly 40 degrees cooler than on the desert floor, range from cross-country skiing in the winter to hiking in the summer. The park features 54 miles of trails and free guided nature walks.
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is a 10-minute drive from DHS.
Natural beauty abounds in the desert. And visitors can see it all by foot! From Joshua Tree National Park, one of the most intriguing places on earth, to the 17,000-acre Coachella Valley Preserve (also called the Thousand Palms Oasis) located just minutes from Desert Hot Springs; you can discover palm oases, the San Andreas Fault, natural springs, and more. Visitors can also try the nearby Big Morongo Canyon, which offers short, easy trails with lots of shade.
In addition, you can walk in the footsteps of the ancestors of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians at the Indian Canyons in nearby Palm Springs. Palm Canyon, Andreas Canyon, Murray Canyon and Tahquitz Canyon each offer hikers scenic trails through indigenous flora.
Museum goers have their choice of Native American artifacts, science, aircraft, fine art and more in the many museums in the Desert Hot Springs area. Guests may enjoy: