Explore the most popular birding trails in Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
18 days ago

The views were just fine - a couple spots that offered decent views of the mountains, but mostly looking down at the city. Not objectively bad but not what I look for in a hike. Relatively easy

Great little trail and views

trail running
26 days ago

This trail is extremely crowded in peak times such as the morning, weekends, and especially on holidays. The trail brings you up to the famous St. Margaret's cross which is both a local favorite and a bit of a tourist attraction. The view a top the trail is decent but if you want a better view of Palm Desert then try the bump n grind. Good running trail if done twice in succession.

trail running
26 days ago

Pretty simple and short trail, easily accessible and extremely crowded in the mornings. the hike is easier when done counterclockwise though, normally you follow it clockwise for the quick elevation gain and the cardio. This is a great running route. the view from the top of the trail gives you a great view of Palm Desert and Indian Wells as well.

hiking
28 days ago

It's definitely an easier trail but I wouldn't call it easy, especially if you start at the typical base. It does connect to a couple easy routes that are good for beginners and kids to do. It's shorter too than many of the trails unless you do the loops but still an excellent workout! I do it every morning.

hiking
1 month ago

Its all good.grate early morning hick....

love it.

Great to get your heart pumping. City views, and pretty busy but still lots of space to yourself. No shade.

Yes use Garstin Trail to begin this trail...

hiking
1 month ago

Did it up to the second oasis today, 109 degrees. I had a 2 liter camel back which was just enough water for the three miles each way.

Still beautiful when most everything is dry. Much better 2 weeks after a rain in the spring...but then you don't get it all to yourself!

Saw a lot of mountain bike tire tracks, they must meet the trail at the top and use it as a down hill exit.

Saw several coyote scat piles on the trail, one still wet. Would have liked to have seen it, but no other sign.

My favorite trail in the desert for a good/quick workout. From the trailhead, if you’re wanting better views, go right & loop around. If you’re wanting a killer workout, go left & loop around.

Great hike. Saw some Long Horned Sheep last time I did it. Read some reviews of another Cove Trail and people complained of the heat. Duh. I don’t do these trails in the summer. Only from like November through March. Maybe early April. And I do them early early in the morning.

My only dislike of this trail is how long it actually takes to get to the fun/pretty part. But that’s all the trails in The Cove. This one is definitely my favorite Cove trail. Great views. Great exercise.

Nice walk

hiking
1 month ago

Crowded, partly an old road. Not pretty. There are many other better trails in the desert.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this yesterday 6/26 - started at 4 from the parking lot, 109*. If you're doing this any time after 10a, bring a LOT of water. You gotta earn this one... Lots of uneven terrain once you start heading up, the length/vertical isn't bad, but the terrain makes it harder than advertised. With breaks, 4 hours, 9.5 miles, 2400 vertical parking lot and back. A little disappointed that the trail doesn't actually summit - you end up going around the back side and then back down to the Oasis, which right now is dry. Other then that, definitely a decent hike if you're looking for a good test.

hiking
1 month ago

We did this at sunrise to avoid the heat. Most of the early part of the trail gets shade from the canyon (at least early in the day). We climbed up to the high point of the trail and then back. The trail carries on to "South Lykken" but it did not worth the extra effort to get back to the car. (Intersection with the Skyline trail had me tempted. But 114F is not a day for that one). (And this is easy to find and starts right off the main road in Palm Springs).

great short 2 mile loop. get there early to have some shaded trail and avoid crowds. Opens at 7:30 year round. summer admission only $5 adults and $3 youth. Beautiful scenery going into the canyon oasis. Ranger said that the falls will probably be pretty much dried up in the next few weeks. Very refreshing to take a dip after the hike in. Be sure to take time in the nature center as there is a lot of historical information.

My husband and I are visiting from Oklahoma and loved hiking this trail! The waterfall was beautiful and so fun to wade in! Highly recommend this trail!

I started early today to beat the heat. I only encountered other hikers at the north and south extremes, from trail heads to first lookout points. Otherwise, I had it all to myself. Wonderful views over South Palm Springs with the sun coming up.

as a beginner, this trail kicked my butt but in a good way. take snacks and water, I wore hiking boots but tennis shoes ok too. the waterfall is stunning, refreshing and a treat.
there is some rock steps incline, so be prepared, but I saw kids, elderly folks doing fine. it does cost 12$ entry, but worth it!

hiking
2 months ago

This was a difficult trail. I consider myself in relatively good shape, and run 25 or so miles a week. This kicked my butt. Going counterclockwise, the ascent was unrelenting. The heat didn’t help (started at 7 am at 80 degrees, and ended nearly 5 hours later at 102). Do not underestimate this hike. Bring lots of water - more than you think you’ll need. The GPS on AllTrails was hugely helpful as the trail was confusing at times.

Great view of Palm Springs

Easy to find trailhead. Trail was clean and elevation was doable. Lots of rocks and boulders. Several hikers on this trail. Beautiful views of Palm Springs.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail. It would be better if there was shade. Hike this trail very early in the summer months. I hiked the complete 4.1 miles. Trail was clean and elevation was a good workout. The trail took us behind Bob Hope’s home (he use to own it). That was really neat seeing it from the back and up close. The peak offered beautiful views of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley. This is a good trail for kids and beginners as well. Highly recommended.

trail running
2 months ago

Did this hike a couple of times when I was in the area, once as a hike the other as a trail run (with some hiking up the steep climbs!) Preferred running it to hiking it

hiking
2 months ago

Good trail, nice views from the top

EVERYONE!!! Please take caution while parking at the trail head at the end of Ramon Rd. We were about to start hiking when we noticed another vehicle had its window smashed and had been broken into. (We notifiedPalm Springs PD)There was also evidence of broken glass 10 yards down where additional parking is. Be safe out there.

Sorry it wouldn’t let me write this without putting stars, just wanted to give the hiking community a heads up. I can’t truly rate this trail as I haven’t hiked it.

Scenic and dramatic!

this hike, man. that ascent don't quit. i think i woke up on the wrong side of the bed, and i definitely spent most of the return trip mentally lambasting everything from the obvious liars who "enjoyed" this hike to the hubris of whoever decided this path should be trod by humanity in the first place, to whoever decided to print my water bottle with the label "1000 mL" instead of "1 L". like, ? way to just reject, out of hand, the entire reason for inventing the metric system?

THAT SAID, i bet this walk would be really beautiful in early spring/winter. some great views, interesting geology. saw one jackrabbit. very few birds. all other life forms (aka, lizards) were scarce and, when glimpsed, looked about as slow-roasted as i felt.

if you're gonna do this hike in summer, leave early and bring a lot of water! I started ~30 min after sunrise and was halfway to becoming beef jerky by the time i got back to the parking lot.

the oasis was great! and probably the ~.5 miles before it were easily the most diversely beautiful in terms of flora, fauna, and landscape. good spot to catch some shade and a snack. also, cell reception was wonderfully reliable throughout hike up until the oasis itself, where it was spotty.

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