Young woman in water at Tahquitz Canyon Waterfall


Waterfall Hike – Tahquitz Canyon

They say Tahquitz Falls is a place of power. When you enter, you’re tired and weak, when you leave you are rejuvenated and energized.

As an avid hiker, I’m constantly in nature and always looking for new ways to connect with it. On this hike, I started it off with an ice-cold Malus to get my curiosity going.  This curiosity led me off the hiking path to discover a secret waterfall hidden inside a cave, and led me to many hidden watering holes that visitors jump or swim in.

When I finally got back on the hiking path, I drank another Malus, which really got me wanting to connect my sense of ‘touch’ to nature so, I took off my hiking boots and went earthing all the way to the Tahquitz Waterfall (I only recommend doing this early morning before the sun heats up the trail). The Tahquitz Waterfall is a 60-foot towering waterfall that pours into an emerald pool of water. If you are daring enough, you can swim into the pool and behind the boulder that lies in the middle. The water is beautiful and crystal clear. Once at the waterfall, I recommend swimming under the falling water. It’s such an amazing feeling to have the water pour down on you.

Legend of Tahquitz

There is deep history with the Tahquitz Falls and surrounding area. Tahquitz was the first shaman created by Mukat, the creator of all things. Tahquitz had much power, and in the beginning, he used his power for the good of all people. Tahquitz became the guardian spirit of all shamans and he gave them the power to do good. But over time, Tahquitz began to use his power for selfish reasons. He began to use his power to harm the Cahuilla People. The people became angry, and they banished Tahquitz to this canyon that now bears his name. He made his home high in the San Jacinto Mountains in a secret cave below the towering rock known today as Tahquitz Peak. It is said that his spirit still lives in this canyon. He can sometimes be seen as a large green fireball streaking across the night sky. The strange rumblings heard deep within the San Jacinto Mountains, the shaking of the ground, and the crashing of boulders are all attributed to Tahquitz as he stomps about the canyon. (source: Tahquitz Canyon Website)

Tahquitz Falls Hike Information

  • Trailhead Address & Parking: Tahquitz Canyon Visitor Center, Palm Springs, CA
  • Drive: 6 mins from Lighthouse dispensary
  • The hike is easy, 2 miles round trip, with no steep inclines if you stay on the path. If you decide to go off the path to discover the hidden waterfalls and watering holes you will have to climb down dirt paths and in some cases climb between, above, and below boulders of rock which can be very slippery next to the water so be cautious. 
  • Entry Fee $12.50
  • Last hike 3:30 pm
  • Required to bring 1 liter of water, they have at the visitor center if you forget.
  • What you’ll see: Native American sites such as rock mortars, rock art, natural shelters, native plants, rock pools, a couple of waterfalls
  • Recommendations
    • Sunscreen, Hat, Lots of Water. This canyon has little shade.
    • Hiking sandals are ideal but hiking boots will get you through.
    • Snacks if you decide to go off-trail and hang out at one of the many rock pools or waterfalls.. 
    • Get there no later than 8 am to beat the sun and foot traffic.
    • No furry friends allowed.
    • Take a Malus, or two, to elevate your natural senses.
Trail Head

Trail Head

One of the many waterfalls hidden in this cave.

One of the many waterfalls on this hike is hidden in this cave.

Watering hole deep enough to swim.

A watering hole deep enough to swim, this is 1 of many you’ll see.

Take a malus to elevate your senses and connect with nature!

Take a Malus to elevate your senses and connect deeper with nature!