Living Desert Trail is a 4.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Palm Desert, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October.
After paying for admission into The Living Desert (a local zoo), you can hike into natural wash then trek up to Eisenhower mountain. Beautiful views of coachella valley! This loop includes a relatively brief section (approximately 0.5 miles) on very rocky ground.
Completed this trail on October 17th.
I can understand the reluctance in paying an entry fee just to hike this. But the Living Desert is a special place so I would recommend making a day of it and visit the various animals and exhibits in addition to the hike. The food in the Watutu Village is actually pretty good so have lunch there (along with a post hike cold beer). Then feed a giraffe or ride a camel or the old carousel.
We took the long loop and my Apple Watch measured it at 4.8 miles round trip. Sign in at the trailhead so they know if anyone got stranded out there. As already noted there is very little shade on this trail. So it goes without saying to pack plenty of water or Gatorade type drinks. The boulder field at the beginning had some standing water in a few spots and a large falling rock caught our attention pretty quickly. It climbs pretty steadily in spots and eventually tops out with a little covered picnic table. Great views from there and an easy descent from there. I would rate this as more moderate than "easy". But of of course these ratings are also based on weather and each person's overall physical condition. It was low 80's on the day of our hike.
Walked here a couple years ago. At that time it was $14/adult, went here to hike trail but before doing that, walked around to see all the exhibits. They have a zoo inside this place as well. The idea here with the exhibits was to show visitors what the desert landscape from different States looks like, for example, if you wanted to see what the desert in Utah or Arizona looks like? You can get an idea here without having to drive out of State. They have carefully copied the natural landscape of the desert with incredible detail to perfection. The admission is a bit steep, especially if somebody was only interested in hiking; it should be free to those who are only hiking.
BE AWARE-->This trail is dangerous for rattle snakes this time of year. In late March my sister-in-law came upon one while hiking with out son. Frightened her big time. And now it is reported an actually bite on a 17 year old hiking on Sunday. My advise is to 'take a break from hiking this time of the year's. Odds are that you won't get bit but why take the chance?
This is a great hike. I would never pay to hike. I have hiked it many times while visiting the Living Desert as my primary objective. The beautiful part of this trail is that you can do the whole thing or chop down the total length a couple time before committing to the entire distance. this option is great for kids, the elderly or if it's just too hot.
Wish I had read Carlos's review below before I did this hike. The hike is fine, but paying ~ $17 per person to access the trail is not worth it and neither are the Living Desert exhibits.
The Living Desert has admission at the entrance, cost $17.25/adult. The Living Desert is a pretty awesome place. In fact The Living Desert is even better than the Living Desert Trail Eisenhower Mountain if you really compare the views between the two. Eisenhower Mountain is incorrect, geographically it’s known as Santa Rosa Mountains.
Anyway, they should charge only $3 for those who are strictly hiking. It's expensive to hike Eisenhower Trail. There's two similar trail and both are free. The East end of Hopalong Cassidy in Palm Desert and the other one is 49 Palms at Joshua Tree. Worth checking out if you're not interested paying admission at the Living Desert. These two trails are very similar with the rock covered mountain environment.
It's the desert so bring plenty of water it's hot and dry no matter what time of day. It's a great trail and attraction to visit while in the Palm Springs area. Great way to experience this hot dry climate if you have not before.
Great trail with incredible views and a picnic table at the top. Good chance of seeing Bighorn Sheep from The Living Desert (through which this trail is accessed).
Nice trail! One of my favorites in the valley