None of our friends warned us that Desert Hot Springs was quite possibly the windiest place in southern California. Or that it was the crime capital of the Coachella Valley with absurd domestic violence and burglary rates. As we planned out our springtime RV getaway to this oasis just west of Palm Desert we were looking forward to soaking in the natural hot waters, playing golf and some desert hikes. We were not expecting hurricane-strength winds.
This was weeks before I became BFF’s with a tumbleweed because it was the only one besides me, braving a stand storm just to sit outside our mega fancy deluxe campsite (Our mega fancy deluxe campsite had a wind-blocking wall, which came in more handy than we would have expected when we booked) to catch the desert sunset.
This was weeks before a red sandy dust storm blew chunks of desert into my eyeballs as a attempted to capture the pinks and purples of the desert skyline as the sun hid behind the mountain peak of San Jacinto and I chugged my warm Heinkin and thought why am I braving a dust storm like you would find in Dubai just to get a great selfie with a tumbleweed?
When we researched our Palm Desert getaway we found rave reviews for our RV resort of choice, Sky Valley. The mineral hot springs sounded so relaxing and I couldn’t wait to breathe the hot dry air in the sauna. I was so looking forward to consuming a beer or two and watching those colorful desert sunsets. I packed a few sundresses and rompers I had purchased during the long cold mountain winter, packed them in the closet of the RV and before you could say, Sinatra, we were rolling down the backroads of those deserted American highways towards Palm Springs. I knew there was a chance there could be a bit of a breeze in the desert, Brett Easton Ellis did indeed write so much about those desert winds in The Informers. I quickly downloaded the classic I had not read in years and was ready to dive back into this patchwork of stories poolside. Of course, that was before I experienced the hot-winded typhoon that was the pool.
But before Typhoon Desert Hot Springs began, we set up camp and made the first round of margaritas. And then the wind we began to blow. I think that is when we realized this gorgeous oasis of an RV park in the Morongo Valley was basically a ghost town. There was hardly a retired couple to be spotted amongst the mobile homes and few other fifth wheels scattered around the park. Wasnt this spring break? Just where the hell was everybody?
By day two our dog had decided to spend all her free time hiding under our motorhome to escape the wind. At night the palm fronds scrapped against the vinyl of the motorhome like nails on a chalkboard. 45 mile an hour winds blew red desert sand through the desert night air and sandblasted my piece of shit Subaru. Then the desert offered me one more insult, blowing a big rock into my windshield and cracking it.
And that was also when I realized that my air conditioning in my Subaru had not been fixed by the Carmax dealership on the fourth time I had taken it into Carmax in the last four y
ears. My dog was not thrilled as we drove around the desert for four days in ninety-five-degree heat with no air conditioning. The pup and I were not digging desert hot springs ninety-something-degree days in April. We had plans to hit up Anzo Borrego but I did not want to head anywhere it would be hot. So back to the mountains we went!
Why the Fido?
That was when we decided to escape to the mountain trails of San Jacinto. Except San Jacinto is apparently no longer dog-friendly. WTF? (Why The Fido?)I had not escaped to San Jacinto in nine years since the last time, I made a summit attempt of the Humber Park route. I had no idea that these days basically every trail near Idyllwild is part of San Jacinto State Park and not dog friendly. What is it with great hiking areas in southern California not being pooch-friendly? I don’t understand why other southern California hikers can’t pick up their dog’s poo? These uncaring assholes are ruining the good times for the rest of us dog-friendly hikers!
So where can you hike near Desert Hot Springs with your pup? Check out Whit Water Preserve if it’s April. (I don’t recommend this in the hotter months) The wildflowers at White Water Preserve in April were so beautiful. Although this area is definitely far from where I live, I am dying to try and get back here and hike at least once every springtime.
A quick getaway to Desert Hot Springs was not at all what I had expected. If it hadn’t been for that God-awful wind this would have been a truly fantastic getaway. I wish our friends had warned us in advance how windy it gets here in April! I would for sure stay here again but not in fifty mile an hour wind sesaon!