Shiprock, Palm Springs – Palm Springs, California - Atlas Obscura
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Shiprock, Palm Springs

A 250 million-year-old rock formation has earned a rather unique nickname.  


For visitors riding along HWY 111 West about four miles outside of downtown Palm Springs, they may notice a rock feature that appears out of place.

Shiprock gained its name from its uncanny resemblance to a Spanish galleon. Shiprock formed at the bottom of a prehistoric tropical sea over 250 million years ago. Layers of silt and decaying sea organisms were compressed, heated, and slowly moved northward for thousands of miles along the west side of the San Andreas Fault.

During this process, the rock was uplifted, tilted, and exposed by the upthrusting granite of Mount San Jacinto. The rock feature is a great place to visit with family as it’s easily accessible from the road. It also allows visitors to wander around the fields all the way up to the base of San Jacinto mountain.

Know Before You Go

There's a limited amount of parking available. 

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