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Six ways for Early Birds and Night Owls to soar this summer
Our top tips for outdoor fun at dawn and dusk
What’s the trick for beating the heat of summer? Don’t beat the heat, work with it! You can enjoy a great summer vacation in Palm Desert by doing what the locals do and plan your activities in either the cool of the morning or in the pleasant dusk of evening after sunset. To make that planning easier, here are six top tips for both early risers and night owls:
If you’re an early riser, you’ll find you’re part of a pretty big flock in Palm Desert. In an environment where early tee times and sunrise hikes are a way of life, plenty of folks are out and about early. If recreation is calling to you, just remember to head out early (and by early, we really do mean dawn) and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Here in Palm Desert, you may want to try the Randall Henderson Trail for that early start. Nestled in a hollow that primarily faces west, it takes a bit longer for the first rays of sun to peak over the ridgeline and onto the trail.
You can also get an early start at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, which operates on summer hours of 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. through September. You’ll find that the animals are moving around and more active in the morning, making viewing easier. You’ll be able to cover the grounds before the sun gets high in the sky, plus there are numerous shady spots for a cool-down if needed.
Another place to get an early start is at the College of the Desert Street Fair. Shoppers and browsers can head out for the 7 a.m. opening every Saturday and Sunday from June through September. This retail institution is known for carrying everything from sunglasses to golf clubs, so be sure to check it out.
Never fear, night owls, the summertime can be a hoot for you, too. You may find that the best thing to do is to gather your friends, head out to a favorite dining spot, and enjoy a late evening meal on a moonlit terrace. But if you’re looking for a little more adventure, check out some of our wise recommendations below.
As the sun goes down and the stars come out, you’ll find that the desert comes alive. Many of local nighttime excursions involve seeking out desert critters or admiring the night sky. One great way to take in both is with a San Andreas Faultline Nightwatch Tour, offered by Desert Adventures twice weekly in summer. The tour heads out shortly before sunset in order to catch the last light and amazing shadows on the hills. As the sky darkens, you’ll be treated to a guided stargazing journey of the night sky.
If you’d prefer to get up close and personal with the desert’s night creatures, join Friends of the Desert Mountains for one of their Monument Night Adventures, offered periodically through the summer and fall. On June 24, participants and trained guides armed with black lights will explore along the Art Smith Trailhead, seeking out scorpions, tarantulas, lizards, spiders, owls, jackrabbits, snakes and maybe a coyote. Other events, including “Dune Discovery” and “Scorpion Hunts” will be held in the Snow Creek area northwest of Palm Springs. For more information on upcoming events, call the National Monument’s Visitor Center at 760-862-9984
If we lost you at snakes, then perhaps it would be wise to stick with exploring the night sky. The Astronomical Society of the Desert holds monthly Star Parties at the Sawmill Trailhead on Highway 74. This location, less than a half-hour south of Palm Desert, provides dark conditions which allow for better viewing of stars, planets, nebulae, comets, meteors and other deep sky objects. Club members bring telescopes and giant binoculars, so just bring your questions to one of these delightful, free events.
It may sound like we’re trying to crow, but Palm Desert truly can be a delightful destination in summer. For more information on summer specials and up-to-date happenings, be sure to check out the Events page of our website.
Updated June 2017