When people hear Palm Springs, they rightly think of an idyllic desert oasis, replete with golf courses, resort hotels, natural hot springs, and plenty of sunny weather. From the Rat Pack to the Kardashians, celebrities have flocked here since the 1930s, not to mention millions of curious tourists craving a bit of the star treatment.
But suppose your favorite stars are the kind you sleep under.
In that case, you’re in luck, as the area also has numerous glamping options that offer a small taste of the wild, perfect for a place where rugged beauty and luxury naturally come together. Below, I’ve rounded up some of the best Palm Springs glamping options along with some ideas for outdoor activities in the area (see below).
Palm Springs Joshua Tree KOA Holiday
Deluxe cabins sleep four to six people and come with various size beds, linens, kitchens, and full baths with showers. If canvas is more your style, try out their glamping eco tents with beds and half baths (no tub or shower), covered decks, and fire rings. Got your own RV? They got that covered too, with several pull-through spots sporting 30- or 50-amp hookups and picnic tables. Tent sites are also available. Note: no pets are permitted in the cabins or glamping tents.
|Address||70405 Dillon Rd., Desert Hot Springs, CA 92241|
Stargazing Yurt in 29 Palms
If yurts are your thing, head northeast on Route 62 to Twentynine Palms, a quiet little city offering easy access to world-famous Joshua Tree National Park. This property boasts five of the popular round Mongolian tents, each able to sleep four comfortably, with sink, shower and composting toilet included. Private barbecues and fire pits let guests roast their favorite treats, whether meat or marshmallows, while the tents’ skylights offer indoor access to both stars and sun. Other luxuries include A/C and solar-powered USB charging ports.
|Address||Twentynine Palms, CA 92277|
Shadow Hills RV Resort
Family-owned since 2009, this glampers’ paradise is nestled just off the I-10 freeway, close enough to enjoy the benefits of civilization if the urge presents itself. Otherwise, stay confined to a property that features a heated pool and Jacuzzi, ponds and walking trails, dog runs, a game room, a clubhouse and a fitness center. Accommodations range from paved and grass RV sites to vintage trailers, single-bedroom cottages, tents, and tipis, all with water and power access.
|Address||40655 Jefferson St. Indio, CA 92203|
Round Valley Campground
One of Palm Springs’ most iconic attractions is their Aerial Tramway, the world’s largest rotating cable car, which takes you to the top of Mount San Jacinto where you might see some snow. Just scooting the edge of primitive is the Round Valley Campground, perched at an elevation of 9,100 feet, but just a 2.5-mile hike from the tram. All 22 tent sites are clean and well-maintained, with shared outhouses, picnic tables, and a ranger station nearby. Campfires are a no-no, but gas-cooking stoves are okay. Be sure to get wilderness camping permits, which are five bucks per person.
|Address||R866+VX Idyllwild-Pine Cove, CA 92549|
Bad Moon Glamping + Event Tents
What if you want to glamp at a locale of your choice? Look no further than this unique service that brings the experience to you. Since 2017, Bad Moon has been setting up outdoor living spaces on mountains, in meadows, along lakes, and across desert canyons. Luxury tents come with memory foam beds, storage benches, end tables, chairs, French presses, cook stoves, and S’mores! Be aware, however, that they’re closed from November through April.
|Address||68523 Calle Aguilar, Palm Springs, CA 92262|
Kate’s Lazy Desert
Just over 45 minutes north of downtown Palm Springs on the outskirts of the Mojave Desert, this artsy Western outpost flaunts its six vintage Airstream trailers like a badge of honor, each one restored and designed by an eclectic American artist. Whether you stay in the Red Stripe “Tiki,” the Blue Stripe “Tinkerbell” or the Green Stripe “North to Alaska,” you’ll have a full-size bed, shower, cooktop with coffeemaker, utensils, and charcoal grill. No pets are allowed here, and two adults per Airstream only.
|Address||58380 Botkin Rd., Landers, CA 92285|
Joshua Tree Container Resort
For a truly original adventure, stay at the resort’s custom-designed ranch house from artist John Henry Jones made using giant shipping containers. Two queen beds inside, hammock, and showers outside. Guests can sip drinks on the screened-in patio, soak in the hot tub or take a swim in the lap pool. The five-acre property is surrounded by wilderness, with abundant hiking, biking, rock climbing, and off-roading opportunities. Two-hour, half-day and full-day guided bike and ATV tours are available.
|Address||Twentynine Palms, CA 92277|
Things to Do in Palm Springs Area
Even if you don’t stay atop Mount San Jacinto, riding the Aerial Tramway up and exploring the network of hiking trails is a must. You can purchase tickets for the tram here. More seasoned (and ambitious) hikers can try the 18.5-mile San Jacinto Peak Loop, which takes about 11 hours to complete.
Other popular trails around Palm Springs include Tahitz, Andreas, and Murray Canyon. Of course, no outdoor escapade to the region would be complete without a visit to Joshua Tree National Park, characterized by its khaki-colored rock formations, stark landscapes, and, of course, the spirited vegetation it’s named for.
Experience world-class bouldering and climbing here along with great birdwatching, backpacking and photography opportunities – especially at Keys View and Skull Rock. If you are looking for a guided activity, there are off-road tours, beginner rock climbing trips, and guides hikes. For more tour options, visit the Viator website.
For relaxation after a long day, take a soak in one of the many curative, sulfur-free mineral pools in the Desert Hot Springs area, sourced from underground aquifers that are super-heated up to 180 degrees.