In recent decades the desert resort city of Palm Springs, CA, has become an important site of queer culture, and is now by some measures the ‘gayest’ city in the United States. At the same time, the Cahuilla tribe, whose reservation intersects with the city, has recently gained considerable autonomy over their land, bringing them into conflict with a rising architectural preservationist movement led predominantly by white gay men. This chapter draws on works in geography, Native American studies, and queer theory to question enduring conceptions about the role of time and indigeneity in urban placemaking, and to contribute to our understanding of the oblique spatiotemporal logics of American settler colonialism, or what Mark Rifkin has called ‘settler common sense.’ I argue that settler common sense in Palm Springs is structured by a colonial legacy of treating the desert as a racialized space of ruination, timelessness, and queer becoming.