Coachella Valley

The Coachella Valley is a large valley in Riverside County that extends approximately 45 miles southeast from the San Gorgonio Pass to the northern shore of the Salton Sea in Imperial Valley. It is 15 mines wide on average. The Coachella Valley is sometimes referred to as Greater Palm Springs and the Palm Springs Area because of the prominence and history of the city of Palm Springs.

Cities in the Coachella Valley include Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, Indio, La Quinta, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, and Rancho Mirage.

Unincorporated communities in the Coachella Valley include Bermuda, Thousand Palms, North Palm Springs, Thermal, and Mecca.

In spite of the desert climate, agriculture is a major industry in the Coachella Valley as well as Imperial Valley to the south.

The San Gorgonio Pass, located just to the north of the Coachella Valley, is the location of the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm where thousands of large wind turbines make it one of the largest wind farms in the county.


Coachella Valley National Wildlife Refuge

The Coachella Valley National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1985, is a 3,709-acre protected area in the Coachella Valley region of Riverside County. It lies just north of Palm Desert and in the unincorporated community of Thousand Palms. The refuge is mostly closed to the public. However, there is an equestrian trail that runs through a section of the refuge.


Palm Springs - Coachella Valley Air Museum

The Palm Springs - Coachella Valley Air Museum is a non-profit educational museum established in Palm Springs in 1996. The museum is located on the northeast side of Palm Springs International Airport and is visited by thousands of people each year. The 70,000 square foot facility is home to 29 vintage aircraft that helped the United States win World War II. In addition to the 29 aircraft and other artifacts, the museum's goal is to educate visitors about the role of pilots and other air crew members during the war.


Palm Springs International Airport

Palm Springs International Airport, formerly Palm Springs Municipal Airport, established in 1961, is a 940-acre airport with two runways. The general aviation airport serves all of the Coachella Valley. Annual aircraft operations currently exceed 60,000.


College of the Desert

College of the Desert is an accredited two-year, public community college in Palm Desert which is in the Coachella Valley region of Riverside County. The primary campus covers 160 acres in the Low Desert community and has approximately 13,000 enrolled students. Students can earn an Associate of Arts Degree, an Associate of Science Degree or a Certificate of Achievement in several academic areas. College credits are transferable to the University of California and all California State Universities. The college campus serves all of the Coachella Valley and the surrounding area.


Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is the largest rotating aerial tramway in the world. Opened in 1963, it provides the fastest and most efficient way of traveling from the floor of the Coachella Valley through Chino Canyon to near the top of San Jacinto Mountain Peak. The tramway's starting point is in Palm Springs. Prior to development of the tramway, the only way to reach San Jacinto Peak was to hike several hours starting at Idyllwild. The 80-passenger tram rotates constantly during the 12.5-minute trip so that passengers can easily view the beautiful, rugged mountains from all angles. The views from the top of San Jacinto Peak are spectacular stretching all the way to the Salton Sea and the mountains in western Nevada.


Chino Canyon

Chino Canyon is a 5.5-mile-long desert canyon in Riverside County and one of the steepest in North America dropping over 8,500 feet. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway was developed to travel from the canyon floor in the Coachella Valley to near its high point near the peak of San Jacinto Mountain.


Historical Timeline - Coachella Valley