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We’re off and running! And hiking…and so much more
The complete guide to why October in Palm Desert is extraordinary
Locals have always loved October, and savvy visitors who appreciate balmy days and mild evenings have long recognized it as one of the best times to visit the valley. This month marks the time when all area attractions have returned to their full, regular schedules after a summer of shortened hours. The Living Desert, for example, is open daily from 9am-5pm with lots of special events planned in the weeks ahead. It’s the “Year of the Giraffe” at The Living Desert so they’re holding kick-off on Sunday, October 1 to celebrate. Later in the month, join them to celebrate La Gran Fiesta with games, live music and dancing.
Every Saturday and Sunday, the College of the Desert Alumni Association’s Street Fair is packed with vendors and shoppers alike once they return to their regular 7am-2pm schedule on October 7. Whether you’re looking for socks or sunglasses, golf clubs or garden accessories, we promise you it’s at the Street Fair. Free admission makes this browsing experience the best deal in town.
The renowned McCallum Theatre is humming this month, too, as the first of the season’s acts take to the stage. Highlights include Bill Murray, Jan Vogler and Friends on October 7, a chance to see Bill Murray as you never have before, and the Sixth Annual Family Fun Day featuring Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live on October 22.
The City of Palm Desert’s popular Concerts in the Park are back in October with a free show every Thursday evening at 6pm at the Palm Desert Civic Center Park. Grab a blanket or a chair, and pack a picnic or plan to sample the tasty treats offered up at one of the onsite food trucks. The fun starts October 5 with Eagles tribute band, The Long Run.
But maybe you’re more of the outdoorsy type. Two of our favorite hiking trails, Carrizo Canyon and Dead Indian Canyon, open for the season on October 1. You’ll find these trails adjacent to the Art Smith Trail along the southern edge of Palm Desert. These unique trails traverse through deep, dramatic canyons into bighorn sheep habitat areas. The trails are closed most of the year for lambing season and so the sheep can have unfettered access to critical water sources. If you want to maximize your chances of spotting one of our endangered bighorns, be sure to hike these trails early in the morning or at dusk and keep your eyes and ears open for the movement of sheep on rocky ledges high up on the canyon walls.
Palm Desert plays host to several recreational and fundraising walks and runs throughout the year, and we’re looking for you! The kick-off to this season’s slate of events is the Y Be Fit Palm Desert Challenge on October 1, benefitting the YMCA of the Desert. Whether you’re a walker, runner or triathlete, there’s an event for you. Triathletes can join in the Reverse Triathlon as an individual or as a member of a relay team, while walkers and runners have the choice of trying the 5K or the kid-friendly Color Run.
Another colorful event to add to your October calendar is Paint El Paseo Pink. Benefitting the Desert Cancer Foundation, walkers loop around El Paseo, Palm Desert’s downtown shopping and art district, in their pink shirts (and the occasional pink wig, tutu or butterfly wings) to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer detection.
Other walks and runs to check out in the area include the Desert AIDS Walk in Palm Springs on October 21 and the Tram Road Challenge on October 28. The Tram Road Challenge lives up to its name with a 3.7 mile route up Tramway Road from Palm Canyon Drive to the Valley Tram Station, gaining over 2,000 vertical feet along the way. It’s all a benefit for the United Way of the Desert, so rest assured you’re breaking a sweat for a good cause.
Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year, and we’re officially advocating that you turn it into a four-day weekend. The McCallum Theatre celebrates the season with Dia de los Muertos Live, an event showcasing the diverse sounds of three modern Mexican artists. The Living Desert gets into the spirit with Howl-O-Ween, featuring trick-or-treat stations for kids, a monster maze, pumpkin bowling and more. If you’re up for pint size floats with lots of spooky bling, don’t miss the annual Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade on October 29. This year’s theme of “Desert Safari” promises to captivate parade-goers lining El Paseo.
So how’s that for an awesome array of events? We look forward to welcoming you to Palm Desert in October.