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

To Do Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Completed Cactus to Clouds.. Beautiful views and sunrise, also super intense elevation gain and temperature change. Bring layers for the top, there was already snow on the ground. First 8,000 feet climb on Skyline was unbelievably difficult. Next 6 to the top peak was all about keeping going. I would recommend eating every few thousand feet at least, we did every 4,000, with water hydration backpacks for water throughout, and trekking poles are a must. Took us 11.5 hours from the bottom to the top back down to the tram. Brought 1 gallon of water, 1 liter of Gatorade, 2 cookies, trail mix and 2 sandwiches, for each of us, was perfect amount. Have fun! Enjoy the views and the success of summiting!

We started on the trailhead around 9:30 and were back at our car at 3:00pm - best time of day to avoid hiking in the heat! Tons of shade in the morning on the way out, and tons of yuccas, trees, and shrubs filled the canyon. The river crossings (there are many) were a bit dicey on the rocks, so get good boots or walk through the shallow water rather than risk a bad slipping off rocks! Watch your footing, too - there’s a lot of loose gravel and a few narrow stretches of the trail. Bring at least 150oz of water per person, wear jeans and a wide brimmed hat - you’ll be glad you did! It’s amazing to bring lunch or food snacks to enjoy near the pools under the bridge.

THE GOOD: Amazing views, lovely vegetation, mix of shade and sun, and having lunch under the bridge. You really feel the river come alive, seeing it rush with deep pools and twists and bends. Bonus - you might see bighorn sheep!

THE BAD: The trail was much more crowded than it was during my last weekend visit 6 years ago, and the bungee jumping operation has totally taken over the vibe of the bridge area. Go on a weekday you have off to avoid the crowds and bungee jumpers. Also, watch out for the yuccas on the trail! They will get your legs - jeans are recommended.

This was my third time on the trail, and I took two friends who had never been. It’s always an adventure, and the lush growth really gave the terrain an ethereal, almost Jurassic look - a special canyon hike I hope to return to!

killer hike. GPS map of trail and trekking poles were a game changer.

Great hike! Did it to the ranger station as a training hike for GC r2r2r. The first couple and last couple miles are tough and easy to lose the trail....especially the last couple. Started at 4:47 am....finished 10:39 am. Would come to do the full Cactus to Cloud. Wouldn't hike back down. Much easier too lose the trail and risk injury going down!

Amazing view at the top and really great cliff-side hiking most of the way. I would only do this trail if you are steady-footed as most of the trail is cliff-side and gravelly. Dress in layers as it can be both hot and cold depending on sunlight and wind!

Nice hike with beautiful views

I did this trail on October 12th which seemed like the ideal time of year to tackle this hike. The average high in Palm Springs is 91 in October, but it doesn’t get that hot until around noon, and since you’ll be climbing, you never really have to worry about the heat.

I got off to a later start than I had originally planned and left the trailhead at 6:45am, right at sunrise. No headlamp hiking for me. And honestly, it was so much better than hiking in the dark. Even with the white dots lining the trail to the picnic tables, I still made a couple of wrong turns and used my Garmin GPS to get back on track. And then, after the picnic tables, the white dots pretty much disappear. There are a lot of tangents and spur trails that can easily take you off course if you aren’t paying attention to a GPS unit. I can’t imagine how much longer the hike would take in the dark. Also, the best thing about hiking in daylight are the views. When the sun is rising over the Coachella Valley, it’s a gorgeous sight to behold.

It took me 6 hours to get to Long Valley, and like everybody says, the last 2 miles up are brutal. When you combine the steepness of the trail with the fact that you’re now at elevations of 6,000 to 8,000 feet, the exhaustion really affects you. My legs felt heavy, and I felt like my entire body was moving in slow motion. When you finally reach Long Valley, it’s a huge relief, not only because the worst part of the hike is over, but also because you know you won’t die. The throngs of day hikers and school children on field trips are actually a welcome sight.

That said, you still have another 11 miles to hike. My biggest mistake was not refilling my water at the ranger station. By the time I had finished my lunch at Long Valley, I had 2 liters left and figured that would be enough to finish the hike. But even though the last 5.5 miles to the summit aren’t steep at all—at least compared to the 9 miles you’ve already done—the elevation and the exhaustion really take over. I was really dragging on those last few miles to the top—I could tell because the day hikers who saw me were like, “Almost there, dude. Keep going.” By the time I reached the summit, my 2 liters of water were almost gone. I feel like another liter or two would have helped out enormously.

But the euphoria of reaching the summit gave me the shot of adrenaline I needed to finish the hike. It’s an amazing 360 degree view. And because it was late in the day, I had it all to myself. The views on the entire trail are great, but the summit really is the cherry on top, and it makes the entire 10,500 foot climb worth it.

The remaining 5.5 miles back to the tram will take a couple of hours, but it’s on a very nice downhill grade—you won’t be killing your feet or your knees. Because it’s an official park trail that is heavily trafficked and well-defined, it is very easy to follow. Honestly, I would save the night hiking for the evening hours when you’re coming down the mountain because the San Jacinto Park trails are much easier to follow than the Skyline Trail—just be mindful that the final tram ride down the mountain is at 9:45pm (non-summer hours). Upon your arrival at the tram station, treat yourself to a beer... or two... or three... or four at the bar on the third floor. You’ve earned it.

on Old Mount Baldy Trail

hiking
9 days ago

Brutal and gorgeous. Read the other reviews, you don't want to do this if you havent done San Gorgonio, San Jacinto etc. I met one other person on the trail who returned because of high winds on the Big Horn Ridge. By the time I made it that far the wind had calmed down somewhat and I plowed on. I made a detour to West Baldy - quite nice and completely deserted. I took it really slowly and had several breaks for snacks and some sketching, Took me ten hours in total.

Nice in and out hike. We started this hike early and enjoyed the view of the sunrise from the peak at the end of the trail. The hike started off in a wash at the end of a dirt road. Transitioned to a slot canyon and ended with a short steeper uphill gravel stretch. As the name implies we did not run across any other hikers along the way.
.

Its a nice place was there during sunset and had a great time.

Great trail, especially late-afternoon when I did it. It took me 2 1/2 hours and I was booking it, so I would definitely allow yourself 3 for sure. I combined the Dawn Mine Trail, which takes you down into a thickly wooded ravine with lots of boulders and a lovely stream, with the Mount Lowe Railway Trail, which is paved but still really nice, on the return. It took me about 1-1 1/4 hours to get to the Dawn Mine area, and then you can turn left and head up the hillside and then return along the ridge, which gives you great views of Altadena all the way to Downtown LA. Highly recommended. Only say about 10 people the whole time. Can't wait to go again!

Really nice area but the gate was locked and couldn’t get in, they replaced the fence AND. got stuck in the mud right before the gate. Geez bad day I’ll tell ya what.....

Really nice hike with a diverse set of landscapes that follows the river, and consists of some light rock scrambling, river crossing, and lovely views. The river crossings are incredibly fun and a great way to keep yourself cool on a hot day. It is possible to prevent your feet from getting wet by walking over rocks, but it can be slippery so I would anticipate getting your shoes wet, even if only slightly. A friend and I decided that it’s a great hike to take visitors from out of town!

It is hard and time consuming go early and bring a good amount of food and water pace yourself you will do some serious climbing here. Also prepare for high wind possibly on the summit

hiking
19 days ago

Easy trail with gorgeous views

This is known as the shortcut to the cactus to clouds but it’s still pretty intense. I loved the scenery on this hike. I did this one about a month ago (early September) and it was about 100 degrees in Palm Springs but it’s about 30 degrees cooler at the top of the tram in the park so pack accordingly. I tried to get a ticket for the tram on the website but they were out so I just showed up 30 mins before the first tram at 8am and was able to get a ticket no problem. The hike is pretty easy to follow and shaded most of the way so it helps. The last 10th of a mile requires some scrambling but nothing too crazy.

Overall a good experience.

One of the best hikes we’ve done (twice) in LA this summer!

hiking
20 days ago

This was harder then I expected. It’s really uphill and pretty bumpy/rocky. Some beautiful views along the way. It’s 2.8 miles to the top. Would recommend when it’s not too hot out or cloudy day because there’s no shade.

20 days ago

Loved this trail, will definitely do it again.

This was a super fun trail with lots of river crossings. We were surprised at how much water was there at the end of summer. My 8 year old was a champ it made it past the bridge to some fun swimming holes. We took about 4-5L of water each and some food and we were good! Took about 3 hours to the bridge. Clocked around 11 miles total. We followed “the hiking guys” step by step trail photos and that was super helpful because it is not well marked.

Fun hike. no trail markings though, so get ready to create your own trail!

hiking
22 days ago

On an overcast weekend morning, starting out at 9:15am, it was not crowded on the trail though parking was pretty full. A beautiful hike even with some clouds. The trail forks about halfway up. Stay to the left.

hiking
25 days ago

Loved this hike! Its not an easy hike, but doable. We were exhausted from the bare heat exposure on the 4th mile to the bridge. There are some amazing water holes below the bridge, so we were able to cool off. We also brought sandwiches with us to eat lunch there. Bring water and electrylotes to replenish. Thanks to this app, I had a peace of mind that we stayed on track.

hiking
28 days ago

Great views throughout the entire trail! Not too many people today (only passed by three groups) in the AM.

This isn’t a trail for first timers. The last mile and a half is on an incline. Bring lots and lots of water with electrolytes! To get to the pools under the bridge requires skimming across a small 1 foot ledge of rock. Was absolutely drained and cramping on the way back because I didn’t take enough water. You should take a minimum of 3.5L. I’d do it again but after a year of training...lol

lush, densely covered, walk along stream to the gold mine. however, it is very buggy. bring spray or a net to cover your face.

going back up to the ridge the bugs go away and reveal nice city and natural views.

in terms of foot traffic, I ran into small groups every 30 minutes or so.

will go again.

29 days ago

Very scenic and enjoyable hike. Lots of bugs though, bring some repellent. Parts of the trail were very overgrown and I could swear I heard growling at one point (!). But I definitely recommend this hike. Lots of shade and different terrain, and seeing the mine at the end was exciting, even if it is closed.

Good hike with a interesting destination. We stayed overnight at the campsites just past the bridge. The trail is a bit difficult to keep track of in some areas, especially as you get closer to the river. Lots of side trails that lead to nowhere (presumably from all of the gold miners in the area). The trail itself not too strenuous. Much of the trail is in direct sun (depending on the time the canyon walls give some shade).Some portions are covered in Yucca.

The campsite at the end of the trail was great. Plenty of trees for hammocks, the river has a ton of good watering holes for swimming and you are pretty secluded from all the day hikers checking out the bridge. The trail shortly after the bridge to the campsites is a little precarious with a sheer drop on one side and about only a foot of width at its narrowest. I wouldn't attempt it at night.

On a negative note this is probably the most littered trail I have ever hiked. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, if you are going to hike this trail pack out your trash. I lot count of the bottles and beverage cans I saw along the trail. Even worse was all of the TP lining many points on the trail (if you gotta go, go a 200 ft away from trails, no one wants to step in some else's dirty toilet paper).

This is a tough, rewarding hike. The three miles or so after Bear Flats are on a relatively steep grade and it is strenuous. It’s doable and safe, but you just have to pace yourself and take your time. Doing this hike near dawn would be preferable as the temperatures can climb in the afternoon. Also, I would recommend bringing poles for the descent—they’ll make your life a lot easier and slightly less painful. I hardly ever use poles, but I was glad I had them for the way down on this trail.

This trail is a lot less crowded than the Devil’s Backbone route, which is a plus. It seems a lot of people do it as a training hike for Whitney and Cactus to the Clouds. If you want to challenge yourself, I highly recommend it.

Load More