Human skeletal remains were discovered Thursday near the Whitewater Adobe and Union Pacific railroad tracks, between Highway 111 and Interstate 10 east of Cabazon in the San Gorgonio Pass, a police sergeant said.
It was not clear how the person died or how long ago, and investigators could not determine the deceased person's gender.
"The remains were found in the desert area, approximately 50 feet from Tipton Road," Palm Springs police Sgt. Mike Kovaleff said in a statement. "The location on Tipton Road was approximately .4 miles northwest of the intersection of Tipton Road and the railroad tracks, southeast of Whitewater Adobe Park."
The location is also south of a motorists' and truckers' rest area on the eastbound side of Interstate 10, within view of the north face of San Jacinto Peak and the vast Snow Creek watershed. It is inside Palm Springs jurisdiction but miles from the city itself.
The remains were found by people who were in the area collecting items for recycling, Kovaleff said.
Palm Springs police detectives were investigating at the scene.
"It is not known at this time how long the remains have been at the location and there is no indication as to a cause of death," Kovaleff said.
Personnel from the Riverside County Coroner's Office were notified.
"An autopsy will be conducted at a later date in an attempt to determine gender, identification and the cause and manner of death," Kovaleff said.
Anybody with more information was urged to call the Palm Springs Police Department at (760) 323-8116 or Valley Crime Stoppers at (760) 341-STOP (7867).