Palm Springs, California

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There’s plenty to see and do in Palm Springs and the string of nearby cities in the Coachella Valley Desert.  But for me, Palm Springs was just a stopping point.  I was more interested in making my way into the Anza Borrego State Park, south of Palm Springs.  So, the only picture I took was from the balcony of my room at the Holiday Inn:


Click here to see a larger version of this image.

On my way out of town, I decided to follow the main non-freeway road out of town, California Route 111 — a slow road with dozens of stop lights, lined with countless strip malls and trendy restaurants.  This is LA’s desert resort town, so you’ll find exactly what you’d expect, all along 111.

I didn’t stop to take any pictures until I was clear of the congested string of cities that line up along 111: Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, and Indio.  But, you can see the entire drive (with at least some of those red light delays edited out) in this Drivelapse video:

If you don’t want to take Route 111 through one town after another, drive back up to Interstate 10 for a quicker ride eastbound.  Then, exit onto Route 86 for the drive south towards the Salton Sea and Anza Borrego State Park.

Before leaving Palm Springs, consider taking a ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.  It’s an engineering marvel that lifts you more than a vertical mile up into the mountains.  The surroundings are so remote, that four of its five towers were constructed by helicopter, since no roads could reach them.  A ride will cost you $23, and at the top, you can snowshoe (in winter) or hike (in summer), and enjoy dinner at a restaurant with great views.

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