West Fork Falls

Palm Springs / Agua Caliente Indian Reservation / Riverside County, California, USA

Rating: 1     Difficulty: 1
The uppermost tier of West Fork Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

West Fork Falls was a bit of an unexpected waterfall for us as we weren't aware of its existence when we planned for a recent Palm Springs trip in 2017. However, when we noticed this waterfall on the trail map handed to us by the Indian Canyons kiosk as well as some of the map signs in the nearby Murray Canyon, we figured that we mind as well check this place out. It turned out that visiting this waterfall was quite easy as it was probably about a short quarter-mile or less hike from the parking lot at the Trading Post by Palm Canyon (see directions below). The excursion itself probably took me around 15-30 minutes total, which included the picture taking. The waterfall itself consisted of three short tiers of around 5-15ft each. And given its healthy flow, I was surprised that how few people bothered to check out this falls as it sat just on the other side of the Trading Post from the scenic Palm Canyon, where most of the visitors seemed to be.

As for experiencing the falls, I basically walked towards the far end of the parking lot by the Trading Post. Near the restrooms, there was a sign for "West Fork Falls" so I knew I was in the right spot. The trail then rounded a bend before descending towards the West Fork where I was able to look against the afternoon sun towards the waterfalls themselves. However, I wasn't able to get a clean look at the full context of the falls given the sizes of the rocks and trees obstructing the views of most of the falls. So I went closer to the creek, where I saw that there was a "hole" I was able to scramble through, which brought me right in between the uppermost and middle tier of the West Fork Falls. This little "secluded" spot was a great place to listen to the rushing water while watching the incident light from the late afternoon sun causing the surrounding rocks to glow softly.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

It was hard to believe how quite West Fork Falls, but considering Palm Canyon (shown here) was so scenic, I guess it was understandable why most people went here and overlooked the fallsIt was hard to believe how quite West Fork Falls, but considering Palm Canyon (shown here) was so scenic, I guess it was understandable why most people went here and overlooked the falls
Capping off a long day of adventure in the desert was downtown Palm Springs, which featured a bit of a happening night lifeCapping off a long day of adventure in the desert was downtown Palm Springs, which featured a bit of a happening night life
Looking back towards the entrance of the car park by the Trading PostLooking back towards the entrance of the car park by the Trading Post

Looking ahead towards the end of the car park with the Trading Post on the leftLooking ahead towards the end of the car park with the Trading Post on the left

The sign at the far end of the car park for the Trading PostThe sign at the far end of the car park for the Trading Post

After rounding a bend, the trail continued past these giant rocksAfter rounding a bend, the trail continued past these giant rocks

Full contextual view of West Fork Falls hidden amongst the palm trees and giant rocksFull contextual view of West Fork Falls hidden amongst the palm trees and giant rocks

Closer look at the middle and lower tiers of West Fork FallsCloser look at the middle and lower tiers of the West Fork Falls

This was the hole that I was able to scramble through to get right up to a 'secluded' spot before the uppermost of the West Fork FallsThis was the hole that I was able to scramble through to get right up to a "secluded" spot before the uppermost of the West Fork Falls

This was the uppermost tier of the West Fork FallsThis was the uppermost tier of the falls

Looking downstream from the West Fork FallsLooking downstream from the falls

Looking down at the road leading up to the Trading Post from the car parkLooking down at the road leading up to the Trading Post from the car park


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Starting with the full obstructed context of West Fork Falls before scrambling closer to see all of its different tiers including going through a little hole leading right to the base of the uppermost of the falls


360 degree sweep showing the little spot between the topmost and middle falls


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From the intersection of North Palm Canyon Drive, South Palm Canyon Drive, and Tahquitz Canyon Way in downtown Palm Springs, we drove south on South Palm Canyon Drive for about 1.5 miles. We then kept right at the fork in the road to remain on South Palm Canyon Drive and drove for the next 2.7 miles to the Indian Canyons kiosk, where we paid our $9 per adult fee (as of 2017) to get in. Then, we drove straight past the next junction and continued for another 2 miles or so as the road eventually ended at a parking area besides the Trading Post. In addition to acting as the trailhead for West Fork Falls, it was also the viewpoint and trailhead for Palm Canyon on the other side of the Trading Post.

For context, Palm Springs was roughly 2 hours drive east of downtown Los Angeles pretty much along the I-10 Freeway before heading south on the Hwy 111 just past Cabazon and the Morongo Casino.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



Click here for the full World of Waterfalls map





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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES





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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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