Agua Caliente Tribe

Agua Caliente Woman

Agua Caliente Woman

The Agua Caliente people area are small Cahuilla division that were located at the headwaters of the San Luis Rey River in southern California. The tribe’s name means “warm water” in Spanish. 

They formed one linguistic group with the Kawia, Luiseno, and Juaneno. Living in several villages in the Palm Springs area, they moved to the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation in 1876 with the coming of the railroad. Later the Federal Government allotted the bulk of the reservation land to the individual members of the tribe. However, the tribe maintains primary control over the use and development of all land on its reservation, including those parcels individually allocated.

Today, much of Palm Springs and adjacent Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, and unincorporated Riverside County are built on these lands, which were leased to developers. The activities of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians have multiple economic impacts on the Coachella Valley, stemming not only from its casino operations but also the extensive remaining landholdings. Much of the tribe’s original reservation of 31,500 acres has been highly developed into a modern desert tourism center, plus extensive upscale retail and residential uses.


Compiled by Kathy Weiser-Alexander/Legends of America, updated July 2021.

Also See:

Index of Tribes

Indian Wars

Native American Photo Galleries

Native Americans – First Owners of America