MCAGCC Twentynine Palms, CA Image 1
    MCAGCC Twentynine Palms, CA Image 2

    MCAGCC Twentynine Palms, CA Museums

    Twentynine Palms:

    The 29 Palms Historical Society preserves and shares the history and artifacts related to Twentynine Palms and the Morongo Basin area. The Old Schoolhouse Museum is Morongo Basin's oldest public building and the home of the historical society. Artifacts include Desert Trail newspapers from 1935, pioneer/homesteader objects, a "sun purple glass" collection, and mining equipment.

    The Historic Dale Mining District is made up of two former gold mining camps, Dale City and, later, New Dale. There were miners here from the early 1880s until 1917. When the nearby OK and Supply mines were closed down, the Dales were quick to follow.

    The Kelso Dunes cover 45 square miles and rise to a height of 650 feet in some places. Climbing the dunes is recommended, the views at the top are said to be amazing, but the ascent can be challenging at times. The Visitors Center is located inside the renovated Kelso Depot building which offers visitors a chance to see exhibits on life in the early 20th century, a bookstore, and an art gallery.

    Historic Pioneertown was a Wild West movie set "town" built by Roy Rogers, Russell Hayden, and Dick Curtis to use for filming in the 1940s. Gene Autry is also said to have used the set's bowling alley for his show; the bowling alley is now one of the oldest in the Morongo Basin. Different performing groups also reenact gun fights and Old West scenes.

    The Hi-Desert Nature Museum allows families to learn about the natural history and wildlife of the desert region and explore exhibits with Native American artifacts, taxidermied specimens, antique pottery, and mining tools.

    Palm Springs Area:

    The General Patton Memorial Museum is located at the site of former Camp Young, a desert warfare training base established by Patton himself in 1942 in Chiriaco Summit, CA. The museum features World War II memorabilia, artifacts of the desert training center, displays on Patton's military career, and tanks ranging from WWII through the Vietnam War.

    The Coachella Valley Museum and Cultural Center preserves and shares the history of the region and runs several different historic buildings for the public to enjoy. Most exhibits are located within the Smiley-Tyler House from 1926 and there is also a 1909 Indio Schoolhouse, the only Date Museum in the world, and several gardens on the grounds which feature a date garden and the Valley's oldest cork tree.

    The O'Donnell House is a restored 1925 mansion sitting high above Palm Springs which allows visitors a stunning, 180 degree view of the town and valley. Tours are available to learn about early regional history and the several well-to-do families that have lived in the house over the years. The mansion is architecturally detailed and furnished in 1920s glamour.

    Cabot's Pueblo Museum was the home of early 20th century homesteader Cabot Yerxa who built his 5,000 square foot, 35-room pueblo in 1941 using recycled materials from around the desert. Yerxa was not just a builder but also reported to be quite the adventurer, writer, idealist, and human rights activist. He also discovered a rare hot springs and cold springs nearby, known as Miracle Hill since they are in the middle of the desert, which are now famous resort areas.

    The Palm Springs Air Museum holds one of the largest collections of World War II aircraft (still in flying condition) in the world. There are several Grumman aircraft like the Wildcat, Hellcat, and Avenger, a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, a Supermarine Spitfire, and many more.

    The Palm Springs area offers many different, and some fairly unique, ways of getting around and touring the desert countryside. Try seeing the town and desert by horseback, Hummer, pedicab, off-roading and 4-wheeling vehicles, hiking, a WWII Warbird plane ride, or even a covered wagon in the early homesteader fashion.

    Fingerprints Youth Museum is geared towards those younger visitors who love to do what children are best at- touching! Exhibits allow kids to explore by touching and feeling their way through a range of subjects.