Explore palm desert hiking - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

palm desert hiking Map

I enjoy looping trails that offer great views of the valley. Birds playing in the wind currents and airplanes on final approaches provided interesting activities.

This was a great little hike. More toward moderate at there where a lot of stairs but not to bad. The south part of the loop is a bit more strenuous then the north part of the loop. But manageable. The falls were beautiful. We arrived at 9am and there were only a few people. However one the way out, approximately 10am it was heavily trafficked. Definitely get there early.

2 days ago

Watch the planes fly by while lined up with the KPSP runway

An enjoyable hike. Very popular, and an inviting ‘starter hike’ for those new to desert hiking around Palm Springs and area.

Fairly easy short hike except for moderate climb at start and descent near end. Took me an hour. Good hike if you are short on time or new to the area. Impressive views of the mountains, valley, and geology of the hillside. People on the trail are very friendly. I enjoyed it and plan to hike it again on our next visit. Smooth walking surface. Go early on a weekday to avoid traffic, heat, and crowds. Parking areas on popular trails fill up fast. Trailhead at Cahuilla Hills Park is easy to find and has a restroom and maps.

I took off a star because signage was confusing. I looked for Herb Jeffries Trail to start but did not find it - partially my fault. I began on the Gabby Hays part of the loop. But that trail name appeared only near the start. From there the trail name Hopalong Cassidy Trail was on the signs. It took me a while to figure out that the Hopalong Cassidy and Gabby Hays Trails share the same path. I had to ask someone to verify that and locate the point where the trail diverges to the Herb Jeffries Trail which completes the loop. The sign for the Herb Jeffries Trail at the parking area is too small and easy to miss. If you want to start on the Herb Jeffries Trail, walk toward the tennis courts to find the trail connector and follow the signs (this part is very well marked).

Enjoy this and many other trails in Palm Desert and Palm Springs area. There is a great variety of trails, scenery, and degree of difficulty.

We did this hike years ago & loved it...went again yesterday with friends visiting from Vancouver...great hike & we were lucky to get to see some big horn sheep grazing by the streams edge. Weather was perfect! Disappointed that the Oasis pool is now barricaded off from getting in the water but still an enjoyable experience :)

Did the trail counter clockwise and the climb up was great. Somewhat challenging, hard to go up at a cardio pace because I kept stopping to take in how amazingly beautiful the views were.

Surprised no one has yet to mention how much HORSE POOP is on the trail. The entire lower portion of the trail, the Henderson, is also an equestrian trail and there’s horse poop everywhere. Which was annoying because it takes up the whole width of the trail!

If I do this trail again, I’ll start counter clockwise again, do the Berns loop at the top and come down the way I came and skip the lower portion of the “horse poop loop.”

Nice inclines, not too brutal. Trying to rehab my knee so this was perfect. Trails are a little narrow and kinda rocky in spots, so watch your ankles! I don't know why this trail says "no dogs" because they have poop bags available and I seen many furbabies on the trail. Next time I will bring mine. :)

most popular hike in Palm Springs. slightly touristic. bring money for admission ($12.50). very beautiful. easy. fine valley views. must read canyon history in old newspapers at visitor center.

17 days ago

Should be rated as moderate because of the first half mile.

This is a wonderful hike, especially if you are looking for that Oasis out in the desert spot to enjoy! We hiked it in February and the weather was perfect! Starts in sand, rock and cactus and ends with palms, shade and water! We found it a very enjoyable hike!

Very nice hike. Not one to speed through. Take the time to just stop & view the varied scenery & vistas. Alternative trail down is rocky & has enough uphill to make it interesting.

Take it to Victor Trail such a fun 3 miles.

Did this hike for the first time this week and went counter clock wise. It started out steep and leveled out before declining. The trail seems well maintained and beautiful, sweeping, desert views. Will for sure be returning :)

A few thoughts on this trail:
It's well marked, easy to find, easy to follow. Seemed to be good for trail running or even mountain biking or a less intense hike. It wasn't particularly technical in terms of foot placement or terrain type: most of it was a nice even sand-like path. Other reviewers are right though, the incline was aggressive for the first 1/2 mile. Not much to look at though compared to other trails in the area, and there was a fair amount of people. A good workout, but didn't do it for me overall.

Great trail for all ages and levels.

29 days ago

A fun trail as described, but the trail is far from easy (should be classified as moderate). It is very steep for the first 150 yards, and then is a serious 1.3 mile, uphill climb to the cross. Also, the directions show a left turn to parking at the end; however, a right turn at the end will also take you to parking and is in the direction of the trailhead.

30 days ago

We followed directions on Google maps but couldn't find the Cross Trail trailhead. Instead there is a sign for the Homestead trail. We expected "easy" to mean "flat." Instead, the trail starts with a steep grade uphill.

1 month ago

Great hike...do it every time I visit the valley. Great views!

1 month ago

Big Horn Sheep family
What a treat!

Love this little hike, I’ve done it a few times now. This last visit the bighorn rams were literally on the trail. It was great!

1 month ago

Although this hike is short and fairly easy, the landscape is stunning. The weather was perfect this afternoon, sunny and warm with a comfortable breeze. Water was also flowing in the creek. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any sheep, but I also didn’t go in the morning. I felt a huge sense of peace on this hike and would definitely recommend it. Just don’t go at peak times! I heard this hike gets very busy. Pros: Ample parking, clean bathrooms. Cons included a $10 entry fee (seemed steep to me), and human feces toward the end of the trail. It was so gross.

Loved it but if you call climbing steps is easy? Then easy it is. Me not so much

Loved the water

This was an awesome hike! Not to much and a beautiful scenery! Unfortunately we didn't see any big horn, maybe next time though

This was an awesome hike! Not to much and a beautiful scenery! Unfortunately we didn't see any big horn, maybe next time though

This was an awesome hike! Not to much and a beautiful scenery! Unfortunately we didn't see any big horn, maybe next time though

I love this hike... At the end the waterfall is beautiful... so worth it

A lovely, easy hike with a satisfying (little) waterfall at the end. Overpriced, unfortunately, hence 4 stars instead of 5.

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