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Photos: A Jeep & Hiking Tour of Palm Springs' Indian Canyons

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From time to time we make our escape from the toils of Los Angeles; though this is a kickass city where there's always plenty to see and do, sometimes adventures await a couple of hours away. Much like we've made some trips to Vegas, another L.A. getaway for decades has been Palm Springs, and we've been doing some exploring.

Sometimes the way to get a feel for a place is to get away from the buildings and crowds and head into its natural landscape. In Palm Springs, while you might first think about lounging by the pool or grabbing some cocktails in a Rat Pack haunt of days gone by, the majesty of the desert and mountains is embracing the city as far as the eye can see. Recently we got to go on a short Jeep and hiking tour of Indian Canyons, and experienced the beauty of the challenging terrain firsthand.

Desert Adventures Red Jeep Tours offers numerous private and public tours of the region, with a focus on the local ecology. They took us into Indian Canyons for an informative and unforgettable couple of hours zipping through the desert in the open-air Jeep (they'll toss you some sunscreen and a hat if you forgot yours) and then into the hills for a moderate one-mile loop hike (though they offer a variety of hikes in length and difficulty). The tour gives you a chance to learn a great deal about the area--the ancestral home of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, and their folklore.

With an emphasis on nature, the guide walked us through not just the rocky landscape canopied in places by stunning fan palms and punctuated with cool streams, but also through the historical and medicinal uses of the many plants and flowers spotted along the way. Oh, and the views...well, they are pretty breathtaking.

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If you're headed to Palm Springs you can book this particular tour, or check out one of the many others they offer. Also, if you're headed to Palm Springs for their annual Restaurant Week, June 1-10, Desert Adventures is offering a special "see" and "eat" adventure package.