The stark Colorado Desert, with its agave, ocotillo, and creosote, rises up boulder-strewn and eroded canyons to chaparral, juniper, and pine-covered ridges. Elevations change drastically from just above sea level to over 7,000 feet. Seemingly desolate and inhospitable, the Santa Rosa Mountains are laced with deep washes and shallow drainages. Several riparian streams flow year-round. Blistering summer heat is sometimes relieved by thunderstorms that send torrents of water down the sandy washes. Many of these regions are important lambing sites for bighorn sheep; in fact, the mountains support the largest herd of rare peninsular bighorn sheep in the United States. Coniferous forests high in these mountains provide habitat for mule deer, while the desert below houses numerous reptiles including the desert slender salamander. Great horned owls soar in the night skies, and falcons and eagles nest and forage throughout the Wilderness. The primary access into the Wilderness is the 9.5-mile Cactus Spring Trail.

hiking
10 days ago

After about a mile and a half the trail is nice up to around mile 6, then it turns into a wash, dirt road, paved road, and flat trail next to a golf course.

hiking
14 days ago

good starter exercise walking trail well marked. traffic noise first 1/2, not too scenic.

hiking
18 days ago

hiking
20 days ago

Our favorite

hiking
22 days ago

hiking
28 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

It's a pretty mellow hike good for all ages. I took my parents on this hike and I recieved minimal complaining from them. Definitely easier than moderate, elevation gain is minimal. It was nicely marked and easy follow.

I agree with earlier comment that this is a fairly easy hike and quite pleasant. About 3/4 mile in, the trail splits (i.e., this is the loop area). Going right is sandier, wider, and a more gentle climb. Going left (having come down that way) is considerably steeper, much narrower and rockier so just come back the other way if you're not up for that.
There is no longer any access to the view from the top over the mountain towards Palm Desert as further use of that trail is prohibited (i.e., by the Big Horn warning sign). But the view back towards the climb was still pretty good.

hiking
1 month ago

on Boo Hoff Trail

hiking
2 months ago

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