Top 5 Desert X Art Installs to See During Coachella

With thousands of people heading out to the desert this weekend for Coachella Festival, I thought it would be perfect timing to write about Desert X 2019, which is finishing up on April 21st (Sunday of 2nd Coachella weekend).  Though there are 19 installs scattered all over the desert ~ I decided to curate the “Top 5 Desert X Art Installs to See During Coachella.”  If you’re driving in from L.A., most of these installs are super accessible from the I-10 Freeway, with the majority located near Palm Springs.  I think these five are especially photogenic ~ & I’ll tell give you tips & directions for each of these Desert X installs! 

***Check out the map below to get the most **UPDATED** locations for these installs (i.e. “Revolutions” moved from Indian Canyon Road to Tipton & Highway 111).

Top 5 Desert X Art Installs to See During Coachella, Girl Who Travels the World

Check out the top 5 Desert X art installs to see during Coachella this weekend!  This one is called “Dive In,” & it’s located off Thrush Road in Palm Desert (#5 on this list).

Map of Top 5 Desert X Installs

Specter (Big Orange Box)

Revolutions (Virtual Reality + Palm Springs Windmills)

Western Flag

Ghost Palm

Dive In (Big Pink Structure)

Top 5 Desert X Art Installs to See During Coachella

1. Specter, (The Big Orange Box), by Sterling Ruby 

Address: 98-2 Snowcreek Canyon Road, Whitewater, CA (Snowcreek Canyon Road & Highway 111)

The western-most install (i.e. closest to L.A.) is located in Whitewater, just off Highway 111.  If you’re on I-10 heading east, take the Highway 111 off-ramp towards Palm Springs ~ & “Specter” is less than a mile away, at the corner of Highway 111 & Snowcreek Canyon Road.

Top 5 Desert X Art Installs to See During Coachella, Girl Who Travels the World

Located in Whitewater, “Specter” is one of the first installs you’ll come upon if you’re driving out from L.A. (or flying into Palm Springs airport).

2. “Revolutions,” (Virtual Reality View of Windmills), by Nancy Baker Cahill

**Address: Tipton Road & Highway 111, Whitewater, CA.  Note: This install MOVED!!  It used to be located on North Indian Canyon Drive, but had to be relocated due to a massive February flood.

In order to view “Revolutions,” download the “4th Wall” app on your phone & click on “Desert X.”  Do this before you get there, because the app is BIG!!  “Revolutions” is an animated drawing that was created using virtual reality, & it takes about two minutes to “unfold,” after you open up the app.  It’s located between “Specter” & “Western Flag” on Highway 111, on the left (north) side of the road…so you can kill three birds with one stone here.

Top 5 Desert X Art Installs to See During Coachella, Girl Who Travels the World

Download the “4th Wall” app on your smart phone before visiting “Revolutions,” which will give you an enhanced view of the iconic Palm Springs windmills. Photo courtesy of The Desert Sun.

Top 5 Desert X Art Installs to See During Coachella

3. “Western Flag,” by John Gerrard

Address: 2901 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA

If you’re visiting “Specter” or “Revolutions,” then “Western Flag” is an easy stop: keep going east on Highway 111, & look for the Palm Springs Visitor Center on the right side of the street (if you get to Tramway Road, you’ve gone too far).  Park at the Visitor Center, & walk to the exhibit, which has the most impact if visited at sunrise or sunset.

Top 5 Desert X Art Installs to See During Coachella, Girl Who Travels the World

“Western Flag” is best seen at sunrise or sunset…

4. “Ghost Palm,” by Kathleen Ryan

Address: Bubbling Wells Road at San Gorgonio Street, Desert Hot Springs, CA

“Ghost Palm” is a little off-the-beaten path in Desert Hot Springs ~ but if you’re flying into Palm Springs Airport & renting a car, this install is just 15-minutes north of the airport.  From the airport, head north on Gene Autry Trail & cross the freeway.  Gene Autry turns into Palm Drive, & you’ll make a right on Dillon Road, then left on Bubbling Wells Road.  Bubbling Wells basically dead-ends at San Gorgonio, & that’s where you’ll find “Ghost Palm.”

Top 5 Desert X Art Installs to See During Coachella, Girl Who Travels the World

The ethereal “Ghost Palm.” Photo by Lance Gerber.

5. “Dive In,” (Huge Pink Structure), by Superflex

Address:  72500 Thrush Road, Palm Desert, CA

“Dive In” is the least accessible art install from I-10 ~ but if you’re staying anywhere near Palm Desert for Coachella, then this is a great one to visit.  I think it’s one of the most photogenic structures, & you’ve got a ton of angles to play with here.  From Highway 111, turn right onto Highway 74, then right onto Thrush Road (just before a large church).  Make an immediate right, then turn left onto Thrush Road (again), & follow it over a bridge.  You’ll clearly see the install from there, to the right, in the middle of the desert.

Top 5 Desert X Art Installs to See During Coachella, Girl Who Travels the World

“Dive In” is located right at the base of Palm Desert’s popular “Hike to the Cross,” on Thrush Road.

Top 5 Desert X Art Installs to See During Coachella, Girl Who Travels the World

There are so many angles to play with here…have fun with this one. At sunset, we had it all to ourselves (though that will likely NOT be the case during Coachella : )

Top 5 Desert X Art Installs to See During Coachella!

Thanks for checking out the “Top 5 Desert X Art Installs to See During Coachella!”  It’s going to be a hot one this weekend, so STAY HYDRATED & drink plenty of water!!  If you’re looking for last-minute accommodations, try Airbnb or click here to look for places to stay near the Coachella grounds.  Be safe & most importantly, have FUN!!

xoxo Noelia

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Noelle Bertram is a restaurant owner, former fitness coach, Huffington Post writer, & all-around entrepreneur who travels full-time now & writes all about it! Catch up with her on Instagram or @ her website about being the ultimate, fearless travel girl: GirlWhoTravelstheWorld.com.

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