HikeDifficultyLengthElevation
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Bob Hope House Overlook LoopModerate3.6 miles0 feetView Trailhead?

Want the best view in town of Bob Hope’s house, that flying saucer-like landmark hovering over south Palm Springs? Then you’ll have to earn it with a bit of huffing and puffing on your part. Start by climbing the Garstin Trail with its spectacular views of Palm Canyon. Then descend via the Shannon Trail where you’ll be close enough to almost touch (well, maybe not quite that close) the 1979 abode with its turtle-shell roof designed by John Lautner. When you’ve almost reached Palm Canyon Wash, turn left onto the Earl Henderson Trail which returns you to the trailhead.

Dogs are not allowed on this loop to protect the endangered Peninsular Ranges bighorn sheep. Try the K-9 Loop in Palm Desert, the Sawmill or Cactus Spring Trails off Highway 74, or Devils Slide Trail at Humber Park in Idyllwild for a mountain adventure with your four-legged companion.

Mountain bikes are also not allowed on the Bob Hope House Overlook Loop to ensure the safety of equestrians. In places along the Garstin and Shannon Trails there is simply no room to pull off given their narrowness and steep rugged terrain. Instead, try the nearby Mountain Bike Splendor.


Maynard Mine TrailStrenuous3.2 miles2036 feetView Trailhead?

After working your way up this strenuous trail to the ridgeline looming above, you’ll be rewarded with a magnificent view high above Andreas Canyon. A string of lush palm oases line the canyon’s bottom far below. Listening carefully, you can even hear the rush of water as it cascades from oasis to oasis. If you’re afraid of heights, be cautious as the drop to the canyon bottom is downright precipitous. From here the trail continues up the ridge to an overlook of the long-abandoned Maynard Mine, though don’t expect to see a scene reminiscent of Hollywood westerns. Very little is left of this tungsten mine that dates from World War II. But the scenery is breathtaking. This old mine sits on a saddle that divides oasis-rich, steep-walled Andreas and Murray Canyons—you’ll see both from the high point of the trail—while Mt. San Jacinto towers above at 10,834 feet.

Both dogs and mountain bikes are not allowed in the Indian Canyons Heritage Park, and an entrance fee is required.


Mountain Bike SplendorModerate4 miles0 feetView Trailhead?

Get ready for excitement on this rock and rolling journey across a mid-level plateau above south Palm Springs. These are not called the "Goat Trails" for nothing! Once you’ve climbed to the plateau from either the McManus or Thielman Trail, the sights and sounds of the city are left behind as you cross this undulating landscape. The spectacular San Jacinto Mountains looming above to the west now dominate your view. Be sure not to mistakenly turn onto the Berns, Araby, Shannon, or Garstin Trails where mountain bikes are not allowed. These trails are just too narrow and the terrain too steep and rugged to safely accommodate both horses and bikes.

Dogs are not allowed on this route to protect the endangered Peninsular Ranges bighorn sheep. Try the K-9 Loop in Palm Desert, the Sawmill or Cactus Spring Trails off Highway 74, or Devils Slide Trail at Humber Park in Idyllwild for a mountain adventure with your four-legged companion.


Mountain Bike Splendor - Alternate TrailheadModerate4 miles0 feetView Trailhead?

Get ready for excitement on this rock and rolling journey across a mid-level plateau above south Palm Springs. These are not called the "Goat Trails" for nothing! Once you’ve climbed to the plateau from either the McManus or Thielman Trail, the sights and sounds of the city are left behind as you cross this undulating landscape. The spectacular San Jacinto Mountains looming above to the west now dominate your view. Be sure not to mistakenly turn onto the Berns, Araby, Shannon, or Garstin Trails where mountain bikes are not allowed. These trails are just too narrow and the terrain too steep and rugged to safely accommodate both horses and bikes.

Dogs are not allowed on this route to protect the endangered Peninsular Ranges bighorn sheep. Try the K-9 Loop in Palm Desert, the Sawmill or Cactus Spring Trails off Highway 74, or Devils Slide Trail at Humber Park in Idyllwild for a mountain adventure with your four-legged companion.


Palm Canyon TrailStrenuous16 miles3566 feetView Trailhead?

From the Indian Canyons Trading Post, Palm Canyon Trail heads south in and along the canyon all the way to Highway 74, 15 miles and 3,500 vertical feet away. Along the way, hikers experience a fascinating transition from Sonoran desert fan palm oases to cool pinyon-juniper forest. The hike is also a lesson in geology. Watch for exposed bedrock tipped by the giant fault that separates the San Jacinto Mountains from the Santa Rosas.

Called "Trail of a Thousand Shrines," this was a major Cahuilla Indian route from the valley to the mountains. The canyon provided water, food, and other important resources for the native Cahuilla. The trail shrines may be gone, but archeology still abounds. Please leave artifacts undisturbed for others to discover.

For a one-to-two-hour hike, follow Palm Canyon Trail through the main oasis, returning via Victor Trail on the cliff overlooking the canyon (see "Victor Trail Loop"). To explore the upper reaches of Palm Canyon, stay on the trail as it heads south. You’ll meander in and out of verdant oases for many miles.

Both dogs and mountain bikes are not allowed in the Indian Canyons Heritage Park, and an entrance fee is required. However, if you are descending Palm Canyon Trail on a mountain bike from the trailhead off Highway 74 in Pinyon Flat, you are allowed to ride as far as the trail’s intersection with Dry Wash Trail. Turn right(east) here, and follow a variety of trails that lead to Palm Springs, Cathedral City, or Palm Desert.


Palm Springs Vista LoopStrenuous2.6 miles850 feetView Trailhead?

Short of renting a helicopter, there’s no better way to see downtown Palm Springs "from the air" than to hike this loop, and it won’t cost you a dime. Elevation is quickly gained as you climb either the North Lykken or Museum Trail just above Palm Springs’ historic tennis club district. From the picnic tables atop the Museum Trail, watch airplanes take off and land at the nearby Palm Springs International Airport, and gaze down valley towards the cities of Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert and La Quinta. The loop is completed by walking back to your car via city streets. If you time it right, cap off your hike by strolling through the Thursday evening Villagefest on Palm Canyon Drive in downtown Palm Springs.

Dogs are not allowed on this loop to protect the endangered Peninsular Ranges bighorn sheep. Try the K-9 Loop in Palm Desert, Sawmill or Cactus Spring Trails off Highway 74, or Devils Slide Trail from Humber Park in Idyllwild for a mountain adventure with your four-legged companion.


Palm Springs Vista Loop - Alternate TrailheadStrenuous2.6 miles850 feetView Trailhead?

Short of renting a helicopter, there’s no better way to see downtown Palm Springs “from the air” than to hike this loop, and it won’t cost you a dime. Elevation is quickly gained as you climb either the North Lykken or Museum Trail just above Palm Springs’ historic tennis club district. From the picnic tables atop the Museum Trail, watch airplanes take off and land at the nearby Palm Springs International Airport, and gaze down valley towards the cities of Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert and La Quinta. The loop is completed by walking back to your car via city streets. If you time it right, cap off your hike by strolling through the Thursday evening Villagefest on Palm Canyon Drive in downtown Palm Springs.

Dogs are not allowed on this loop to protect the endangered Peninsular Ranges bighorn sheep. Try the K-9 Loop in Palm Desert, Sawmill or Cactus Spring Trails off Highway 74, or Devils Slide Trail from Humber Park in Idyllwild for a mountain adventure with your four-legged companion.


South Lykken TrailStrenuous4.4 miles1004 feetView Trailhead?

So what the heck is a "Lykken?" No, it’s not that organism comprised of fungus and algae—that’s lichen. Rather, the North and South Lykken Trails are named in honor of Carl Lykken, Palm Springs’ first postmaster. Once you gain elevation from the southern trailhead of the South Lykken via a series of switchbacks, take a well-deserved rest at the picnic tables and enjoy the views overlooking South Palm Springs. Look to the east—that high point directly across Palm Canyon is Murray Hill (2,800 feet), and yes, there’s a trail to the summit. Resuming on the South Lykken, hikers find the trail to be relatively easy as it generally follows a single elevation contour—this means the trail is kind of flat—while paralleling South Palm Canyon Drive. About halfway through this hike, however, you’ll gain elevation again before descending just south of Tahquitz Canyon.

Dogs are not allowed on this trail to protect the endangered Peninsular Ranges bighorn sheep. Try the K-9 Loop in Palm Desert, Sawmill or Cactus Spring Trails off Highway 74, or Devils Slide Trail from Humber Park in Idyllwild for a mountain adventure with your four-legged companion.


Tramway to San Jacinto PeakStrenuous5.5 miles2455 feetView Trailhead?

The easiest and the most popular hike to the peak begins at the Mountain Station of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Leaving the Tram, descend into Long Valley and self-register for a wilderness permit at the Mt. San Jacinto State Park ranger station. Past the ranger station the trail traverses the tree-covered flanks of Long Valley Creek until reaching the broad, grassy meadow of Round Valley. Deer are plentiful in this area and are relatively tame if you keep your distance.

Round Valley has numerous campsites for the overnight hiker. Be sure to obtain a permit for camping before leaving the ranger station (reservations are a good idea, but not required). You’ll quickly discover that the trail from Round Valley to Wellman Divide is the steepest part of the hike, but this section is only one mile long. From here follow the clearly-signed trail to the peak. This approach is easier than the hike from Idyllwild, but is still considered strenuous with an 11-mile roundtrip and elevation gain of 2,500 feet.

Dogs and mountain bikes are not allowed in Mt. San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness, so please leave Rover and the cycle at home for your adventure up the Tram.


Victor Trail LoopModerate3 miles0 feetView Trailhead?

Walk in the ancestral footsteps of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. This is a place to be respectful of those who came before, as well as their descendants who now care for this land. Here’s your chance to meander through a huge oasis of native California Fan Palms as you hike the Victor Trail Loop, which includes both the Victor Trail and a segment of the Palm Canyon Trail (also see "Palm Canyon Trail"). Be careful—the Victor Trail is rocky and uneven in places, but you’ll thoroughly enjoy this sampler of great sights in the Indian Canyons.

Dogs and mountain bikes are not allowed in the Indian Canyons Heritage Park, and an entrance fee is required.




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