This Palm Springs Neighborhood Snapshot focuses on Smoke Tree Ranch. Considered by many to be the ultimate example of exclusivity, notoriety and prestige yet uniquely different than all other Palm Springs Neighborhoods. Smoke Tree Ranch is defined by its natural, pristine setting and homes of remarkable desert style and rustic character. It is a Palm Springs Neighborhood tucked away from view. So private, in fact, that many Palm Springs residents have never ventured behind Smoke Tree Ranch’s guarded entrance gates.
Smoke Tree Ranch clearly is the one Palm Springs Neighborhood which exudes the desert's relaxed casual and rustic lifestyle while retaining its ‘Crown Jewel’ heritage. Featured in The Robb Report, March 2004 issue, Smoke Tree Ranch was termed ‘Eternal Springs’ and ‘Palm Springs Magic Kingdom’ and one of The Robb Report’s ‘World’s Top 10 Exclusive Hideaways and Great Escapes’.
Smoke Tree Ranch's roots date to 1936 when Fred and Maziebelle Markham purchased the approximately 375-acre Mojave Desert Ranch. Today, reportedly 300 acres of the Ranch are dedicated to the Smoke Tree Ranch, with the 20-acre Smoke Tree Guest Ranch at its center.
Smoke Trees line the entry road into the Smoke Tree Ranch. The Smoke Trees’ gray colored branches are usually leafless most of the year to conserve water, but their small, densely clustered twigs do sprout leaves, only for several weeks in the spring, followed by purple flowers normally appearing in May and June. The tree’s foliage and springtime flowers create from a distance the image of smoke, thus the name Smoke Tree.
Walt Disney made his initial home in Smoke Tree Ranch in 1948, and subsequently built three unique cottages on the Ranch. Disney reportedly conceptualized Disney Land while living at the Ranch. He was forced to sell his Smoke Tree home in order to raise the initial funds required for Disney Land’s construction. However, Walt Disney and his wife returned to Smoke Tree Ranch buying another home in the Ranch in 1957 which they used until Walt’s death in December of 1966.
The Smoke Tree Ranch Paper called The Desert Rat first appeared in 1936 with the Ranch’s founding. The Desert Rat sported a Rat as its mascot, possibly a take off on Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse?
Today Smoke Tree Ranch features:
- 93 homes…and new homes are now under construction;
- The Guest Ranch -- with the Ranch House, Dining Room, Kiva, Disney Hall, Swimming Pool, Bowling Lawn Green, Tennis Courts, croquet, three-hole putting golf course and guest accommodations in 57 guest cottages.
Resale homes in Smoke Tree Ranch come on the market rarely. An example of one such resale home is this estate property.
If you have interest in purchasing property in Palm Springs, either a Palm Springs Condo or Palm Springs House, I welcome the opportunity to share with you the Buying opportunities that are now available. Please visit my website for more information on Palm Springs Official Neighborhoods, Palm Springs Homes For Sale and My Real Estate Market Insights.