Art Smith Trail is a 12.2 mile moderately 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 March until October.
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.
The trail is well-marked and parking is convenient to the trail head. There are a few nice shade spots to rest in, but much of the trail is full sun as is expected in the desert. Lots of water is a must, as well as sunscreen!
Nice trail. If you get past the first 3 miles it's pretty level the rest of the way. Some small ups and downs but not like the first 3 miles. This time of year was really nice. Cool in the morning and lots of flowers and trees blooming. Didn't see any Big Horns. It's a good workout and make sure you take lots of water. It applies to this hike more then some of the others. Wouldn't want to do this hike in summer. Trailhead has lots of parking and a short 2/10's of a mile walk to the start of the climb. There were a lot of cars parked at the National Monument but the trailhead parking is just past that on the right if your going west or up the hill.
Fabulous views and flowers
Great trail for day hiking with nice views once you get beyond the first mile or so. Several palm oases along the way. Good place to see Bighorn Sheep. If you hike in the fall (October through December) you can use the original trail a bit further in Dead Indian Canyon. It's a better start than the current trail.
Hike! This time of year is great for the wild flowers but it's always a beautiful trail.
Toughest incline at the first 2.5 miles. Levels off. Have seen big horned sheep a couple of times (up close!). The best scenery of any trail. Have only gone as far as 3.9 miles and turned around.