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

PSP-Palm Springs Map
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I hiked this once again on Wednesday January 16th, up to the five picnic tables,which is more than the official Museum trail loop, I had a total of 1.4 miles. Of the dozen or more trails I have done in the area, it is the steepest. I did not see anyone else using hiking poles, but I am 75 and would not want to try it without, especially coming down. I saw four bighorn sheep quite a ways below me and it looked like some other hikers were really close and the sheep acted curious. The view of Palm Springs is spectacular. You could easily loose the trail without the paint spots as there seem to be multiple choices in spots and in others you are rock hopping a little.

This is a strenuous hike and well worth it. Did this hike on January 11, 2019. Snow was 3ft or higher and temperatures in the very low degrees. We were equipped with the necessary things that we needed to finish the hike at night. Starting at 10:20 am and finished at 8:20 pm. Well worth it. One important thing is to have a map or download AllTrails.

hiking
4 days ago

This hike was incredible. We had 4 wheel drive and had no problem getting down painted canyon road. All of the ladders we encountered were metal and pretty sturdy, except for the occasional broken rung. Definitely worth the climb for the amazing views.

Was on the trail yesterday and the road is in excellent condition. If you stay on the main road and don't go off onto the sandy off shoots on the road you will not need a 4 wheel drive. The trail is in excellent condition however none of the ladders are bolted down any longer so you may want to have fellow hikers hold the ladder steady as you ascend or descend. The ladder at mile 2 which is the last one before you emerge up from the lower canyon is in bad shape. One of the middle rungs has broken through and ladder is swaying sideways from metal fatigue. I suspect this will need to be replaced very soon other wise you will have to turn back as there is no way to circumnavigate this area. Once you emerge out of the canyon and descend into the lower wider canyon there are lots of flowers and great views of the massive canyon walls. On the last 2 down climb ladders the last ladder is in poor condition. The last 2 rungs are blown out and most of the other rungs look like they could go anytime. Proceed with caution on that one! other than that the trail is amazing and in good condition. Highly recommend!

Takes a bit to get back into the canyon area but it’s a fun route once you’re there. Decent grips for climbing up the dry fall beds, great rock colorations and some fragrant plant surroundings.

paddle sports
5 days ago

ITS DADDY HES BACK BUT ITS OK BECAUSE MOM ATE HIM

cross country skiing
5 days ago

Daddy hecked me good on this hike. Then i hecked him. Then mom ate him. Then i ate mom. And then daddy came back from the dead and hecked me. It felt so good i wish i could do it again but daddy died again haha ahh he came back!

hiking
6 days ago

I only did 3+ miles on the ArtSmith trail as I had originally wanted to go into the Dead Indian Canyon. The canyon I found out is closed until September of this year, bummer. I still wanted to get some hiking in so I went up Art Smith. I’ll be back to do the complete thing hopefully next weekend.

Great views of the valley. If your not used to hiking this can be tuff. But worth it. I would do it again

Not for the unprepared or inexperienced due to weather!! Also, prepare for 1 hour + wait time for the tram if you do not arrive EARLY.

TRAIL DETAILS as of 1/6/2019

Went up yesterday to the summit. You will need snowshoes and crampons to get to the top safely and since the going is slow, plan your daylight time for an 8 hour round-trip just to be safe.

LOTS OF SNOW: there is about 3-4 ft of soft powder past Wellman’s Divide and you may or may not have a clear trail carved out for you. Pack for temps in the 10-15 degrees with strong gusts of wind. Reservoir tubes freeze quickly so know the steps to keep your water flowing as it’s a strenuous climb in the deep powder!

Otherwise, it’s a beautiful hike in near perfect winter/snow conditions but be smart and gear up to stay warm!!

Beautiful and unique hike. We are a four person family with two college age kids and it was fun for all. Slightly challenging in some parts but worth it for the views. Makes you feel like you are an explorer!

Hike was very nice !!!

hey john, box canyon is still closed and you will definitely need 4WD for painted canyon road (some parts are soft sand)

Great hike wind got a little blustery.

Tough first hike of the trip. Climb was pretty strenuous, scenery was beautiful. Do the hike in the morning before it gets too hot - very little shade if any.

Tough trail to follow in sections and steep in parts but fun with a beautiful view as a reward!

John, we will be there in two weeks with a rental car. Like you, hoping to hear of road conditions on Painted Canyon Road. Please update if you decide to go. Thanks!

Completed this back in October of 2018. This was my wife and I first peak summit and enjoyed every minute of it! Overall the hike is closer to 15 miles, took us 7.5 hours. If you are into hiking and have decent fitness level you should be able to do this hike with no real issues. Make sure you have the proper attire and gear, plenty of water(we each brought 4.5L of water and had plenty) and a map for reference and you are in good shape. Well worth the effort! Strenuous but attainable!

Beautiful hike.

Can anyone please provide road conditions??? I plan to visit the area Saturday, January 5th. Thanks much

on Museum Trail

hiking
16 days ago

Strenuous and a little difficult to find the trail among the rocks at the end but the views are great. No shade so go at a cool time. And be ready to scramble up and down boulders.

Nice adventurous hike without being too difficult. Loved the slot canyon and variety of rocks.

hiking
17 days ago

Mostly easy walk hike with some ups and downs. Half mile at the end is up, but not to hard.

Probably one of my favorite hikes of the year!

Great hiking experience with the snow :)

This is a very unique hike and one of the best. The view of the Salton Sea once you are up top is spectacular. The slot canyon, diversity of rock types and formations and views from the top made this hike a must do for us. We will do it again for sure.

We missed the stone arrow showing the way to do the loop clockwise so did it in reverse. The bolder scramble and entrance to the trail is relatively early on the trail. The arrow is very close to the left side - there is a small aluminum ladder to look for. The trail is very wide, so we didn’t see the arrow but going counterclockwise wasn’t bad at all. The main difference as far as I can tell is that you walk half the time at a slight incline in the sand. If you were to go clockwise, you would do most of the ladders and rocky ascent going up.

I would also like to thank the volunteers for their time and effort making sure the ladders are there so this hike is possible. All were in fine working condition. I didn’t see any wood ladders.

If you know when you are going try to book your tram ticket up online before hand. I just went today December 28th and it was a 2 hour wait in the tram station once you got your ticket so by the time I got up it was nearing 12pm. Lots of people, busy busy -which I hate so I was very relieved once I got up and could get away from the tourist side of things. I quickly found the ranger station, got my permit, put on my spikes and headed out. I started following some foot prints in the snow and ended up going in one big circle so that wasted about 40 minutes. The sun goes down around 4:30 now in Palm Springs so I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to make it up and down in time but, I started out anyways after my set back at about 12:45. The trail after that was pretty noticeable (even through the snow) and I started making some good head way. I’m not a very experienced hiker and not super in shape (I like to say average) but I was determined and with some motivation I was able to reach the peak by 2:15. I didn’t take any breaks despite the last couple miles I think I could have used one but I was worried about timing and just powered through. I didn’t stay up too long but I ate a protein bar and enjoyed the view for a few minutes before heading back down. I also rushed past the ranger station although I would have liked to go inside and check it out. I ended up getting back down much quicker than coming up and made good time. I was back down by 3:30pm so I would have actually had more time to hang out and explore but, I wanted to be back before dark and better safe than sorry. I only seen a couple people out there. It was nice and quiet, no wildlife. A bit chilly on my walk down. It was about 5 degrees Celsius. The spikes on my shoes were much needed and I’d really recommend going with them as it was icy. I didn’t bring poles but I could see how those would help. I know people say to train for this and I don’t want to encourage those not ready for it to go but, I think with some common sense and knowing your limits you will be fine. I didn’t train, I am from the prairies in Canada so I’m not used to inclines or elevation and I did just fine. Just make sure however far you go you can get back. Quit if you need to, dress appropriately, enjoy the gorgeous views, buy your tickets online to avoid wait times, don’t leave trash and have fun!!

I did last week although it was awesome I wish I was more prepared. Make sure you have spikes as some parts of the trail are covered with ice. As for the peak make sure you take walking poles and gators so your feet won’t get wet.

hiking
21 days ago

We hiked the Ladder Canyon today, the ladders are all good. Then on to the cellphone towers at the top and down via Big Painted Canyon. Never have figured an easy route from the towers into the top of the Canyon. The two short ladders in the main Canyon are fine. Painted Canyon Road is fine. I wish I knew who put the ladders in so I could thank them but in this crazy age they probably will never come forward in case someone falls off and tried to sue ... that's America today. One of my favorite hikes anywhere.

Beautiful

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