In the late 1940s, Frank Critzer, a prospector and desert dweller, excavated under the seven-story boulder known as Giant Rock, in Landers, California and constructed a dwelling consisting of several small rooms. A wooden structure, on a cement slab was built above ground and lead to the rooms below. The cement foundation is still there today. The underground rooms where filled in a number of years ago. Critzer was killed when the dynamite he kept in the rooms exploded. In the early 1950s, George Van Tassel built an airport and a small cafe on the site and lived in Critzer’s former structure. Van Tassel conducted weekly meditation sessions in 1953 in the rooms underneath Giant Rock and claimed that the sessions led to UFO contacts and finally to an actual encounter with extra-terrestrials. In August of that year he reported that a saucer landed from the planet Venus and invited him onto the ship.
In 1954, Van Tassel began building his now famous Integratron, after he says he received the instructions from the Aliens, during their visit to Giant Rock. George Van Tassel was one of the leaders in the UFO movement in the 1950s and held annual “Spacecraft Conventions” at Giant Rock for 25 years.
OVERNIGHT STAYS: While many visitors camp at Giant Rock, The Integratron is available for overnight stays. It can be rented by the hour, day, week or longer, for individuals or groups.
LOCATION: Giant Rock is located approximately 40 miles and an hour from downtown Palm Springs.
DIRECTIONS: To find Giant Rock, begin at the Integratron, which is located at 2477 Belfield Boulevard, in Landers, CA 92285. Giant Rock is 3.5 miles north of the Integratron by dirt road. The Integratron is on the corner of Belfield and Linn Road. Make a right on Linn Road and a sign will point you in the right direction.
Photos: The people on the left, pictured under the rock, are standing on the cement foundation of the former UFO house (above).Below is the Integratron.
I receive a lot of requests for, but there are very few Adobe, Santa Fe style homes for sale in Palm Springs.
The largest cluster of Santa Fe style homes is located in the Chino Canyon hillside neighborhood of Palm Springs. The homes aren’t exact replicas but combine the Santa Fe style with a more contemporary look. Set among the boulders of the rustic alluvial fan, they make quite a dramatic impression.
The 55-plus Safari Mobile Home Park is located next door to the popular Palm Springs Backstreet Art District, directly behind the BMW dealership on E. Palm Canyon in South Palm Springs.
The Art District offers regular tours of artist’s studios, art openings and other events each month, offering endless activities for 55-plus artists and art lovers living in the Safari Park. But you don’t have to be an artist or art lover to love this park. It’s also just one block from the famous Parker Hotel, once owned by the singing cowboy of movies and radio, Gene Autry. The reality show The Parker was also filmed for a season at the hotel. Overall, it’s a very vibrant and ideal neighborhood for active adults and seniors who prefer to live in the heart of all the action.
The park opened in the 1960s and has been well maintained. The views are amazing and the South Palm Springs location is central to everything.
The historic “Palm House” was built by Alkali Thornburg in1905, directly on top of the San Andreas Fault. The home, which is now used as the Visitor Center, is part of the 80-acre Coachella Valley Preserve and Palm Oasis in 1000 Palms. You can visit the home and learn more about the history of the early desert pioneers and the San Andreas Fault. In addition to the home tour, you can enjoy picnicking, walking, hiking and bird watching.
LOCATION: 29200 1000 Palms Canyon Rd, Thousand Palms, CA, 92276
HOURS: Visitor Center Hours are approximate:
September and May 8 AM – 12 Noon
October through April, 8 AM – 4 PM
June, July and August, CLOSED
Visitors and groups are welcome. Commercial groups should call ahead because of limited parking.
For additional information, call 760-343-2733 or 760-343-1234.