This weekend, we made our very first trip to “Indian Canyons” to hike and photograph the Palm, Murray, Andreas, Tahquitz and Chino canyons. Considering I’ve been coming to Palm Springs beginning as a kid in the 1960s, I’m surprised it took me so long to make a visit.
Native Americans have called the Palm Springs and Coachella Valley home as early as 7,000 years ago, where they built complex communities across the region.
With an abundant water supply, the plants, animals and native peoples thrived in these abundant canyons and across the Coachella Valley, which sits in the westernmost extension of the Sonoran Desert (also called the Colorado Desert). Palm Canyon in the Indian Canyons is the world’s largest Washingtonia filifera (California Fan Palm) oasis.
Today, Tahquitz Canyon and the Indian Canyons and its culturally sensitive areas are part of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Reservation, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Our hike covered just a portion of the canyons. We’ll be back to continue our exploration and discovery!
What a treat to photograph Albert Frey’s 1955 Palm Springs desert modern masterpiece, the Cree House.
The home has been quietly held in the possession of a local family since the 1970s. The family recently completed a meticulous restoration of the home to evoke its original 1955 design.
Integrated into the hillside, the home features a large balcony with it’s commanding view overlooking nearly the entire Coachella Valley. The bright yellow corrugated fiberglass panel railings are original to the home.
Of particular interest to me is the kitchen, which features the unique and completely original restored refrigerator above the back counter top as shown in the photograph below.
We made a visit to Mesa Verde National Park near Durango, Colorado last spring. Here are a few photos of this incredible archive of early American inhabitants who called these canyons home over 1400 years ago.
Sun Point View at Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park view provides an incredible overlook. Without the park guests in the foreground, it’s impossible to comprehend the incredible scale and grandeur of the cliff house dwellings several miles away across the steep canyon.
I hope you’ll have an opportunity to visit Mesa Verde National Park someday.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area just outside Las Vegas is my favorite Las Vegas-area destination. We stopped by on Wednesday afternoon of Christmas Eve for a quick drive around the 13-mile long scenic loop, when I captured this view from one of my favorite vista points.
A snow storm closed the entire 13-mile scenic drive loop the following day.
One of my favorite places to spend the holidays is Newport Beach, where I love to study and photograph the “brutalist” architecture of Newport Center.
In 1967, artist Tom Van Sant created a series he called “Indigenous Inhabitants” that captured the region’s wildlife (mostly extinct now) in concrete using a technique called Intaglios – Italian for incised carving.
His work was commissioned by Architects William Pereira and Welton Becket.