Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Morongo Casino, Cabazon, CA and A Day in Palm Springs



We’re spending a couple nights at the free RV parking area behind the Morongo Casino in Cabazon, CA, about 20 miles west of Palm Springs. Not a bad place to park if you don’t mind a bit of noise from I-10 and a frequent nearby train. Here’s a bit of history from the Morongo Nation website:

“The Morongo Reservation was one of nine small reservations set aside by President Grant by executive order in 1865. In 1983, the path of Morongo's future changed when tribal members started a modest bingo hall. From this building evolved one of the oldest and most successful Indian gaming facilities in California. The present $250 million destination which opened in late 2004, the Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa, is one of the largest tribal gaming facilities in the nation.”


After we arrived we took a walk over to the casino to sign up for the Winners Club. Got $5 in slot play but it disappeared quickly. Then we walked over to check out Hadley’s Fruit Orchard. Didn’t buy anything but they did have some good looking products.

Then our walk took us to the Cabazon and Desert Hills Premium Outlets, a huge complex of designer stores, many of which we had never even heard of. Guess we’re really out of touch, and we were definitely in the minority with mostly Asian shoppers. We didn’t buy anything there, either, but we did walk several miles.

One of the reasons we stopped here was to stock up at the Trader Joe’s in Cathedral City, just east of Palm Springs. So yesterday we decided to make a day of it and go for a hike, then have lunch before we shopped.

Forever Marilyn” in downtown Palm Springs.


Since it was close to Trader Joe’s, we decided to hike up the Araby Trail for a peek at Bob Hope’s house. We also got a peek at a lot of other less impressive places on the way up the trail.



First sighting of the Hope house. It’s for sale if anyone is interested. The asking price was $50 million but has been reduced to $34.



A bit out of our price range, but I think we could be comfortable in one of the neighboring smaller homes.


After passing the houses, the Araby trail continues to climb, about 800 feet in 1.8 miles, where it then intersects with several other trails. We just turned around at the top after taking a few shots of the views.





We thought this plane was going down but then realized he was just landing at the nearby airport. Wouldn’t want to live in that neighborhood.


Here are a few closer photos of the Hope estate. You can see the inside here if you’re interested.





We worked up a big appetite and were so pleased to find a vegan restaurant just down the road, the Native Foods Café. It was excellent! I think even hard core carnivores would be impressed.

Back on the road again today, making our way towards Morro Bay. And gas here at the Morongo is a bargain for California, just $3.69/gallon.


  1. Just passed by Morongo Casino on our way eastbound on I-10 yesterday......stayed overnight in Blythe at Mayflower County Park last night. The outlet store complex has been getting bigger and bigger every year as they add more stores. I haven't heard of most of them before either. Safe travels!

  2. Oh, gosh! I was just out your way 3x this past weekend! I stopped to see some of the trains going by at Cabazon and took photos of them and I also went up to the Whitewater Preserve twice! Yes, the freeway noise is quite loud! Oh, Native Foods is wonderful. There used to be one in Palm Desert, but no more...sigh...
    ~Cheryl Ann~

  3. The Palm Greens Cafe in PS is a very good vegan place. Give it a try Next time you are through there!

  4. Nice hike. I find it strange to see the trials mixed with all the development.

    Bob Hope had a nice "little" place with its own airstrip!

  5. "Thanks for the memories…"
    Box Canyon Mark