Tahquitz Canyon: What We Can Learn from the Legend

Tahquitz CanyonWhen you tell someone you are going to Palm Springs their first thought is always golfing. They may then start to think about the restaurants, the retirement communities, the casino, shopping but rarely does the conversation lead to hiking. The Palm Springs area is filled with opportunities for an active holiday. There is cycling or for the less-trained two-wheel enthusiast biking trails. There are great hiking trails in the local and surrounding areas from the unique environment found in Joshua Tree National Park to the many trails found in the surrounding Mountain Ranges.  The great weather lends itself to those people who love to walk, especially in the morning before the heat scorches the landscape in mid-afternoon.

Part of my travels have always included hiking and visiting the wonders of nature. There is something relaxing about taking the opportunity to become one with nature. A visit to Palm Springs would not be complete without a visit to Indian Canyons and Tahquitz Canyon. They are minutes from downtown Palm Springs and offer a glimpse into the history of the area. The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians have been in the area for about 5000 years. I would recommend when visiting one or both of the Canyons that you take a guided hike. It doesn’t cost any extra but offers you a history and better understanding of the area.


The Legend of Tahquitz like all myths offers us a teaching that is still relevant today. Tahquitz was a Shaman with many gifts to share with his people. He was to serve as the Guardian Spirit which came with the responsibility and power to do good. It was the belief of the Cahuilla Indians that Tahquitz was given a great responsibility to help his people. At first these gifts were used to help the people but eventually he began to use his power for his own selfish reason.  Tahquitz was eventually banished from the tribe and in a great ball of fire took refuge in the Canyon. It is here where legend tells us he steals the souls of people.

The Legend of Tahquitz is in fact all to real. How many people are given the responsibly and power to do good for the people but in the end give in to their own selfish needs? There is a belief in the culture of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians that everyone has a purpose in life and it is each of our responsibility to fulfill that purpose. This is the belief of many cultures and many societies. A belief in the importance of taking care of each other, taking care of the earth.

How many souls are taken by the greed and selfishness of those in positions to do the most good for people? How many souls are stolen by the selfishness that robbed Tahquitz of fulfilling his life’s purpose?

The Legend of Tahquitz and a hike into the Canyon is a great opportunity to reflect on how fragile nature and the human spirit is. An opportunity to reflect on our purpose to creating a better world.


Visit the Canyons:

Indian Canyons

Tahquitz Canyon


About jameswhoddinott

My novel 'When Eagles Dare to Fly' represents my belief that good will always triumph over evil and by developing who we are on the inside we will find our way. My newest novel 'The Fates' was released earlier this year that examines a society that discovers immortality. I have a blog called an 'Author, blogger and his musings' which talks about my writing, political issues as well as other areas of interest like education, art and photography,
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