Palm Springs is a desert resort city in Riverside County, California, United States, within the Coachella Valley. It is located approximately (89 km) east of San Bernardino,(172 km) east of Los Angeles, (198 km) northeast of San Diego, and (431 km) west of Phoenix, Arizona. The population was 44,552 as of the 2010 census. Palm Springs covers approximately (240 km2), making it the largest city in the county by land area.
Biking, golf, hiking, horseback riding, swimming, and tennis in the nearby desert and mountain areas are major forms of recreation in Palm Springs. The city is also famous for its mid-century modern architecture and design elements.
Archaeological research has shown that the Cahuilla people have lived in the area for the past 350Ã¢ÂÂ500 years. The Cahuilla name for the area was "Se-Khi" (boiling water). When the Agua Caliente Reservation was established by the United States government in 1896, the reservation land was composed of alternating sections (640 acres) of land laid out across the desert in a checkerboard pattern. The alternating non-reservation sections were granted to the Southern Pacific Railroad as an incentive to bring rail lines through the open desert.
Presently the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians is composed of several smaller bands who live in the modern day Coachella Valley and San Gorgonio Pass areas.
The Agua Caliente Reservation occupies 32,000 acres (13,000 ha), of which 6,700 acres lie within the city limits, making the Agua Caliente band the city's largest landowner. (Tribal enrollment is currently estimated at between 296 and 365 people.)
One possible origin of palm in the place name comes from early Spanish explorers who referred to the area as La Palma de la Mano de Dios or "The Palm of God's hand".
The earliest use of the name "Palm Springs" is from United States Topographical Engineers who used the term in 1853 maps. According to William Bright, when the word "palm" appears in Californian place names, it usually refers to the native California fan palm, Washingtonia filifera, which is abundant in the Palm Springs area. Other early names were "Palmetto Spring" and "Big Palm Springs".