Bear Creek Canyon Trail

HARD 99 reviews

Bear Creek Canyon Trail is a 8.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near La Quinta, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

8.3 miles
2,319 feet
Out & Back



mountain biking

nature trips

trail running




wild flowers



old growth

over grown

washed out

no dogs

One of the trails at La Quinta Cove, open all year to all skill level. Relatively flat trail with panoramic views of the mountains to the south.

1 month ago

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.

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.

3 months ago

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.

3 months ago

This is a great hike! Views are great. It has some steep climbs but it’s a good workout!

5 months ago

I don't know where in the world we were at. This trail head is the start of many other trails, and it is a hunt trying to find this one..... Although the GPS from All Trails said we were on the right path, nothing in this description noted bouldering. Where ever we were we ended up scrambling over many boulders, although it was fun and we continued without question..... it seemed the further we went the more challenging the scrambling got as the boulders became huge huge walls of rock. We accepted our fate and lunched at a nice secluded spot with a cave.... We always have a good time, but not sure if we were on the right path.....

5 months ago

Nice easy hike. Took 3.5 hours chit chatting with a friend the whole way up and down. I would rate it as moderate to easy for an average, somehow in shape, middle age person.

6 months ago

The hike was from the end of Eisenhower Drive South end of LA Quinta Cove to the Palms Grove and back.
The day was near perfect with a light breeze and a few clouds in the low 70's.
Saw a couple of dogs at the beginning of the trail, but none were seen during most of the out and back.
There is no water source anywhere along the walks so all take more than enough water for each person. A snack or lunch isn't necessary, but a good idea as it is a calorie burner.
My Fitbit Blaze showed the hike to be 13 miles out and back. Didn't deviate from the trail. It also showed altitude change of 237 flights of stairs (2,370 ft roughly. It took about 5 hrs and 17 minutes to go out and back.

It was rather slow as I was carrying a good sized backpack with a water bladder in it. Oh yeah, take TP just in case of the need to evacuate.

The views were spectacular given it was somewhat hazy to the east. The Salton See can be seen along with even
Rancho Mirage or Cat City to the west. The trail is mostly composed of loose Rock and some gravel.
For rock enthusiasts the different rocks with an array of colors is a delight.

Saw a few bird in the hike but unfortunately no Big Horn sheep, which I know have been seen before near the trails.

The Oasis is pretty nestled in a gully near the base of a hill southwest of the trail and seems guarded by old dead palms. The Palms were thick with downed palm frahms and walking through was hazardous. There does seem to be a trail to the left, but I didn't take it to see where it led or dead ended. After 2 hrs 40 minutes to get there I rested a bit, ate something and headed back. Only saw one person hiking out as I approached. It was nice and quiet. Cell phone service was good on the ridge above the Grove.
Hiking back about 2 plus miles away from the parking area I ran out of water. Next time will fill the water bladder to top. That's why I said take more than enough water.

This was my longest hike in many years and was pretty tired getting to my ride. If your an avid hiker willing to go more than 5-6 miles it's a must do. Any less excited about the distance and elevation change you can still have a beautiful hike going half way.

6 months ago

Beautiful views, only passed about 3 people. Took us 3 hours.

6 months ago

butt kicker... no water at the oasis today

7 months ago

Great hike!
Great scenery!

8 months ago

We did it in 3 hrs in 1/2. Round trip. Very quiet trail with a nice view! We got to see 4 big horns running down the hill (pretty cool even though I got scare for a second because they passed next to me hehe ) FYI: NO bathrooms near the trail or parking lot.

8 months ago

I will not say that the trail was hard, but I do a lot of hiking. Now I need to try the Cactus to Clouds. If you can only rate these trails in three categories then it’s not very accurate.

8 months ago

Took a while to walk in sand until you get to the good stuff.

11 months ago

Great trail, definitely not for the novice. Don't mistake any of the summits along the way for the end - keep going until you come over a ridge and see an oasis of 20 palm trees nestled way up in the hills. Incredible views along the way. Bring more water than you think you need.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

beautiful wild flowers blooming today! The oasis is anticlimactic! The climb is tough but doable! Bring lunch and snacks, it's 4+ miles in to the oasis.. total round trip is over 9miles from the parking lot!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Great hike, beautiful day! Even got lucky enough to see a couple big horn grazing. Definitely will go back!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Misty cool day. No views but beautiful in a different way. The oasis at the end was magic but a bit hard to find. The trail was easy to walk and not too steep

Friday, December 09, 2016

Loved this hike! Way to work those legs, raise your heart rate and see amazing views of the valley, canyon and surrounding mountains.

Not a trail for the novice! Enjoy!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

great hike..views of Salton sea and wind turbines when you get close to top. usually closet to top cools down and get breeze with the altitude..have seen bighorn sheep on this hike quite a bit

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Was great to bring small kids in wagon because of the paved pathway and will definitely come back for future bike rides and or jogging with my dog:-)

Saturday, March 26, 2016

spectacular flowers after the three mile mark

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

I lost the trail and spent a lot of time in the wash within the canyon, which is slow going.

Monday, February 29, 2016

What a great trail, decided to stay to the right and off the wash which made it a moderate hike. We were also able to spot a big horn. We will definitely do this trail again.

Monday, February 29, 2016

A great hike we stayed to the right of the trail and climbed up instead of walking through the wash, which made it a moderate hike. We will definitely do this trail again. We're able to see a big horn as well.

road biking
Monday, February 15, 2016

Beautiful scenery and easy biking trail.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Good road trail, nice and not super crowded

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Hiked this trail in early January and while starting off easy it presents with a steady uphill climb until just before the oasis. The views of San jacinto peak were quite beautiful and the diversity of cacti also stunning. Well worth the jaunt.

Friday, January 15, 2016

It's a great hike but if you go all the way to the oasis it's not easy. The track the shows 4.4 miles one way is correct but the elevation gain is much more than 134 ft, just look at the graph, starts at 2300 ft and end at 1300 ft. Just a warning this is a difficult hike, take lots of water in warm weather.

Monday, January 04, 2016

A good trail with a variety of levels. There are two ways to go: One way (the main way) takes you up some rocky terrain, then downhill you'll pretty much be walling down soft sand the whole time. If you choose this path, I'd rate it as a moderate hike. But if you go the opposite direction, you'll be climbing uphill in all soft sand, then down the rocky terrain. That would make the hike a lot more difficult, rating it as "hard."
There's not much to see except a lot of dirty desert, rusty metal scraps and broken glass...unless you're lucky enough to encounter some Big Horn Sheep.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

My wife and I headed out a little later in the day so we took it pretty quick up the trail. It was a great hike for both of us. Never been up there and we really enjoyed the hike. Gorgeous sights to see and the views are outstanding. Weather was cool and coming back later in the afternoon just before sunset was really nice and our first experience in that situation. I would recommend doing that to anyone. Take a head lamp if you do. Trail is really rocky and several switchbacks. The trail is nice and always easy to see after you leave wash area on the way up. If you have it, use Google maps to track yourself. It helped us find the oasis to see how we progressed along the trail. Take plenty of water and snacks.

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