Desert - Indian Wells - Indian Wells Tour
Touring * Street * Historic *
From Interstate 10 at Thousand Palms, take the Monterey Avenue exit and head south for 5.5 miles to the junction with Highway 111 (it looks like a standard downtown intersection). Turn left and head east for two miles until you reach the light at Cook Street. Make a U-turn to park in the shopping center on the northwest corner of the intersection. This trip continues following Highway 111 on sidewalks starting from the southeast corner.
It's not often that you get to skate on a state highway, and rarely are they as well landscaped as Highway 111 is where it passes through Indian Wells close to the base of Eisenhower Mountain. A lot of money went into installing the fine concrete sidewalks and trees that border the road, but then, this seems to be the standard for the perimeters of the resorts and country clubs in these parts. Start out on the south side of the road, where the sidewalk is contiguous for the entire 2.5 miles. The beautiful grounds of the Stoffer's Esmerelda and Hyatt Grand Champion resorts are across the street as you head east. This is the Hyatt that hosts the famous Lipton Tennis Tournament. You are supposed to be able to see the mound of some old Native American burial grounds near the Indian Wells Country Club as you approach the end of the second mile. If you're really interested in this, ask someone to point it out, because it isn't immediately obvious. Cross to the north side of the highway to start back alongside the Indian Wells Golf Resort. That way you can read the very interesting plaques on the historic monuments located next to the sidewalk at the Indian Wells civic center near the intersection of El Dorado Drive. You will learn about the history of the desert wells and the date palms, among other local attractions. If you're still feeling fresh after your return to Cook Street, skate south on its roomy bike lane for half a mile to Fairway Drive, a low-traffic residential street that is wide enough for skating but has no bike lanes. Hidden behind the trees to the south is a very exclusive gated community, The Vintage Club. Follow quiet Fairway Drive a mile to the east and then turn left at El Dorado to skate back up to Highway 111. For another diversion on the way up El Dorado, explore The Estates, a neighborhood of fine homes (and equally fine asphalt pavement) on the left. Note: the manager of the Foot Locker in Indio is a dedicated in-liner who provides instruction and leads guided skates in the Palm Desert area. (Call Tom Huna at 619-342-3146 for information.)
Aug 1, 1995
Aug 1, 1995