Overview of Desert Hot Springs
Desert Hot Springs, also referred to as “DHS,” is a Riverside County city located in the Coachella Valley north of Palm Springs. The city’s name is derived from the numerous natural hot springs that dot the landscape. It is one of the few places in the world to boast naturally occurring hot and cold mineral springs due to the presence of two aquifers that are separated by the Mission Creek Fault, a branch of the San Andreas Fault.
The population of Desert Hot Springs has experienced rapid growth from the city’s founding in 1941, which is now home to over 28,000 residents. Just like other cities in The Greater Palm Springs Area, Desert Hot Springs is popular with part-time residents from cooler climates who make their home in the mild California Desert climate during the winter months. Additionally, many visitors flock to the resorts set up around the natural springs, which have created a healthy tourism economy for the city. With the legalization of marijuana, DHS was one of the first municipalities to embrace the new “cash crop” in California and is poised to continue its economic growth due to its business-friendly approach to the marijuana industry.
A History of Desert Hot Springs
Like other cities in the Coachella Valley, the first inhabitants of the region were indigenous peoples. The Cahuilla Indians never permanently settled in what is now Desert Hot Springs, but they did camp in the area during the winter due to the warmer climate. The area remained open frontier until the first homesteader, Hilda Maude Gray, staked her claim. Much of the early years of Desert Hot Springs were documented by writer Cabot Yerxa in a newspaper column that was published in The Desert Sentinel. After settling in the area in 1913 Cabot hand-built his home over a 20-year period in the style of Pueblo-Revival architecture. Today it is one of the oldest adobe-style buildings in Riverside County and home to Cabot’s Pueblo Museum, a major landmark and attraction for visitors. On July 12, 1941, L.W. Coffee founded Desert Hot Springs and the city government was officially established. Over the course of the decades to follow, DHS would grow from a population of 20 residents at its founding to over 28,000 today, following cycles of tourism booms and the gradual development of the desert landscape into a habitable place to call home.
Sprawling over 30 square miles of scenic desert landscape, Desert Hot Springs is surrounded by stunning beauty. The San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains enclose the area, creating gorgeous views in all directions. The city is also adjacent to Big Morongo Canyon Preserve and renowned Joshua Tree National Park, the perfect escapes for anyone looking for adventure. On the western portion of the city limits lays the world-famous windmill farm. These white giants are the greeters of the region and turn out renewable energy in the blustery San Gorgonio Pass. Additionally, solar farms continue to pop up in the area, growing in size and creating plenty of power for the city. The wind and solar generated energy makes Desert Hot Springs one of the leaders in renewable energy, and helps the city cement a legacy of preserving nature by maintaining a small carbon footprint.
A Hotbed of Tourism
Desert Hot Springs has the largest collection of naturally occurring warm mineral springs in the United States, which has fostered a thriving resort industry. Visitors from around the world converge on the resorts seeking relaxation and rejuvenation in the tranquil mineral springs. Many of the hotels and resorts were built during the regional boom of the 1950s and 1960s, and gain their identity from the iconic Mid-Century Modern architectural style. After a period of decline, investors returned to the city in the late 1990s and breathed new life into these desert gems, reviving a boutique spa and hotel experience that has put Desert Hot Springs back on the map. One of the more notable resorts is Miracle Manor Retreat, which was originally built in 1949, making it one of the first spas built in town. Also within the city limits sits Hotel Lautner, which was designed by famous Mid-Century Modern architect John Lautner, and was restored to its original glory in 2000.
Desert Hot Springs is a marvelous place to call home. With an ingrained emphasis on sustainable, natural energy, and a growing community built around a booming economy, Desert Hot Springs is the perfect spot to settle down and blossom your ideal lifestyle in the Southern California desert.