West Fork Falls

Agua Caliente Indian Reservation / Palm Springs, California, USA

Static Google Map of West Fork Falls

About West Fork Falls


Hiking Distance: 1/4-mile round trip
Suggested Time: 15 minutes

Date first visited: 2017-02-11
Date last visited: 2017-02-11

Waterfall Latitude: 33.73729
Waterfall Longitude: -116.54065

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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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.

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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Tagged with: palm canyon, west fork, trading post, palm springs, waterfall, riverside county, agua caliente, indian canyons, san jacinto, oasis, desert

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