Art Smith Trail is a 16.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Palm Desert, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from September until May.

Length16.7 miElevation gain3,336 ftRoute typeOut & back
CampingHikingNature tripsBird watchingrunningForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeNo dogs
Waypoints (0)
Getting There

Note: Users have reported that this parking lot is known for car break ins. Do not leave valuables in your car when hiking this trail. From the Hike Palm Desert map obtained from the Palm Desert Visitor Center: Turn south from Hwy. 111 onto Hwy. 74. After approximately 4 miles turn right and park at the trail head across from the Santa Rosa San Jacinto National Monument Visitor Center on the left of the highway.

Weather
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Reviews (626)
Photos (839)
Recordings (692)
Completed (715)
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John Mullaney
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Hiking
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Alythia Monet Ortiz
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Nature tripsGreat!No shade

Beautiful! One of my favorites in the desert! Nice views all around!

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Mandy Lucas
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Hiking

Nice uphill hike! Will probably mostly do 2 miles in instead of 3 next time, but it was desert plants and mountains the whole way!

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Brandon Melton
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Christopher DeJesus
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Hiking
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Kathryn Marshall
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Hiking

Rocky and steep at first. We saw a lot of sheep coming down.

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Timoteo Ibarra
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HikingGreat!No shade
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Mairead Cusack
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Hiking

It was awesome. Straight up for the first 2 miles But amazing views

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Michael Delgado
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HikingGreat!

Challenging, bring at least 2L of water. Good company and the changing landscape throughout the day make it all worth it.

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Vic Hanson
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mike groves
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Mattie Reyes
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Hiking

Loved it but there are a handful of non mask peeps

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laurie soto
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Brenda Miller
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Hiking

Love this trail, it’s rocky, smooth, up, down and beautiful views!

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Steve Smith
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Running

Awesome day on the Art Smith.

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Walter Huber
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tracy johnson
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Warren Hurt
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Hiking

Well defined and well marked. Saw 2 bighorn sheep. Starts off fairly steep but experienced mountain bikers navigated the trail well.

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Liam Neill
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Hiking

Hot

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michael larson
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HikingGreat!

I found a women's watch with a velcro band on Dun Rd approx 1 mile West of the Art Smith Trail. Great 12 mi hike from hwy 74 across to Cath City. Mid 70s, few people and clear sky. Good day

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michael larson
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Hiking
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Millie Wong
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Hiking

Amazing !!! The trail opens up and you see these amazing rock formation! Must do! The trail keeps going so pack water and good shoes !

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Liam Neill
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Hiking

Only went out 2.25 miles. Lots of good uphill. Lots of sheep in the valley at the start.

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Vonnie Estes
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Hiking

OLove this trail. I usually do a 3 mile out and back. Go early / gets very crowded and not everyone knows trail ediqutte

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Steve Smith
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Running

Completed 10 miles of running and hiking. Beautiful day!

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Joel Brettingen
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Hiking

Trail is well-marked all 8 miles. At about 7 miles, just follow the wash and the bike tracks. Beehive I read about earlier this fall at 4 miles in the rock wall is either gone or dormant. No issues. Great out and back for those looking to log miles.

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Anne Langstaff
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Hiking
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Christine Reilly
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HikingRockyScramble

We were attempting to do the Art Smith trail but it didn’t happen. We started from Cathedral Cove on Dunn Road trail. There is no car access on Dunn road. It’s a trail that turns into a fire road. It’s slightly over 4 miles to the picnic tables. We passed a bulldozer on way up and then there was another bulldozer at the picnic tables. The 4 miles is a steady climb. About 1700 feet of climbing. We decided to take Art Johnson trail down instead of Art Smith. We weren’t quite up for 8 more miles down for Art smith. Art Johnson is 4 miles down. It appears to be for mountain biking. The last mile or so is a bit sketchy with loose gravel and lots of rocks. Be careful. To access Art Johnson, walk through picnics tables and take the path to the left before the skinny wood pole that says Art smith. I’m sure there’s an easier way to get back to main road but we ended on a private road. We got to main private road through an opening at bottom of chain link fence in middle. We got back to paved street by going through break at the water tank on left. I’m sure there’s an easier way back to a paved street.

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