What’s in a Rock? A lot of History!

Driving through the Coachella Valley and the desert in general—if you’re paying attention and not too distracted by whatever you’re listening to—can be like driving through history.

People have been living here for thousands of years and they all have left their distinctive marks on the landscape. To really take a hike back in time, explore the Corn Springs Petroglyph Site sometime when you’re in La Quinta. It’s just a bit further down I-10 and on BLM land.

Point Happy Rock
Point Happy Rock

However, here I wanted to open your eyes to an interesting feature you might not give a second look while you’re driving through La Quinta and Indio. It’s called Point Happy Rock. Highway 111 cuts right through it and it’s where the popular Cliffhouse Restaurant is located.

A route that really rocks!
Today, road engineers tend to plot the course of new highways around rock outcroppings like this. But in the 1930s, when this right of way was originally carved—or blasted—out, the engineers apparently had other priorities.

Often when we drive “through”Point Happy Rock, we think about all the people over the years who have traveled this route. When a road funnels through a narrow slit carved through a massive piece of rock, you know that that specific patch of ground will always be a route for commerce.

Back in the days of the Dust Bowl, some travelers from the Midwest must have rolled through there. Today, visitors and residents of La Quinta and other communities in the Palm Springs area pass through Point Happy Rock on their way to golf courses such as La Quinta Country Club, Rancho La Quinta, Indian Wells Golf Resort, El Dorado Country Club, The Vintage, The Reserve, and many others.

Rancho La Quinta
Rancho La Quinta

Homes with views
Of course, golfer-homeowners in locations like Rancho La Quinta seldom have to hop in their vehicles and head out onto Highway 111 to pursue their favorite sport. Rancho La Quinta offers 36 holes of golf. Another special treat here is its elevated lots that deliver stunning views of the Santa Rosa Mountains.

And if there are non-golfers in your family, the tennis courts, pool and fitness center are great ways to stay fit. I said pool, but I should have said “pools.” However, the main pool at the Racquet Club is the perfect size to put in some laps.

When you drop in to get more details on some of these properties and the various golf options you have, be sure you have our free golf resource guide with you. It gives a great “birds-eye view” of the area. Combine that with one of the local books that talk about desert history, and you’ll really be able to maximize your understanding of this special area.

We hope to see you soon!

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