Big Morongo Canyon Trail is a 11.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Morongo Valley, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 11.3 miles Elevation Gain: 1,223 feet Route Type: Loop

kid friendly

backpacking

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

Big Morongo Canyon has a lot of beautiful desert features. There is the Canyon walk to the south with rocky canyon walls. You'll have the opportunity to see lots of interesting plant life along this well-marked trail. You will pass some very nice cliff-side trails with more traditional desert scenery. Not to be missed however is the large interconnecting boardwalk maze that abounds with thick undergrowth and birds of all kinds, complete with meditative benches along the way. Most of this area is in the shade.

running
no shade
off trail
16 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Yucca trail has stunning views. Easy, peaceful, meditative hike. Not much traffic.

hiking
3 months ago

great hike today, very scenic...went way into the canyon. easy to follow trails.

hiking
no shade
4 months ago

Nice canyon trail. Out from the parking lot is about 1/4 mile (maybe a bit more) of boardwalk, then you’re on the trail. Miles 2-8 are in the canyon floor, so loose to moderate packed sand with gravel and cobbles. A couple places washed out, so knee to waist high ravines to cross, really no problems. As you reach the turn around point I caution you to listen for any gunfire. My boys collected many rifle and shotgun shells. From the debris, it looks like people shoot up into the canyon where you’ll be hiking. By 11:00 am when we reached turn around, wind was blowing 7-9 mph down the canyon - so a head wind all the way back. We finished on the West Canyon Trail. Uphill at the end of the hike, but great views of the canyon floor below. Not many hikers on the trail, but parking lot was overflow with cars waiting to park when we left (Saturday at 1:00 pm). There are flush toilet facilities and fresh water. No fee but they accept donations.

hiking
Wed May 01 2019

Very nice mix of scenery. Carry water if you do the entire hike. No bugs even in the marshy area! Watch that you stay on the correct trail at the start and don’t veer towards the private property area.

hiking
Wed Apr 24 2019

Very easy relaxing trail

hiking
Tue Apr 02 2019

Quiet, not busy which is really nice. Very pretty canyon.

hiking
Sun Mar 31 2019

One of the best areas in all of Coachella Valley. So much different scenery and can see it all in just a few hours.

hiking
Tue Mar 05 2019

Always a favorite- great for birding. There is something for everyone, a short stroll along the deck planks or hike out on many trail options. Always see many birds and usually mule deer as well

hiking
Sat Jan 26 2019

We covered almost all trail loops. Another fantastic place to hike.

hiking
Fri Nov 23 2018

Quiet and peacful, hot but there is some shade. I was here in the hot part of the day so I kept it short and walked the West Canyon Trail, looped back to the marsh trail with the boarded walkway. There is a fee to access this park.

hiking
Fri Mar 16 2018

This is a very solid yet confusing hike, and 5 miles to boot - my Track of March 2018. This takes in the best of the "boggy" desert area, higher desert with views, and little repetition. Canyon trail is a good addition to make it longer, but much of there lower Canyon trail is not worth any extra trekking.

hiking
Wed Jan 24 2018

We parked a car at the bottom trail end then car pooled to the Big Morengo Canyon trail head. It was all down hill mostly a gradual slope, moderate hike. We left early in the am so the canyons were in the shadows, the last 30 mins was in full sun along the dirt road.

hiking
Sat Jun 10 2017

Big Morongo Preserve is a very unique place . There are 4 trials listed here but they all start at the parking lot and can all be hike in just a few hrs . There is also another preserve next door that can be accessed from the Big Morongo trail . There are millions of lizards and birds wetlands Marsh and a creek that flows the whole distance of the longest trail . The long trail is by far the most interesting and can be very very green if we have had a good rainy season . The boardwalks are fun and the history which you can read about at the parking area is very interesting . There are flush toilets and tables as well as a lot of benches scattered around the park If you enjoy yourselves , Be sure to leave a small donation in the box nest to the parking area . .

Wed Apr 12 2017

Love this trail, haven't been there in years. Want to go back soon.

hiking
Fri Mar 31 2017

Such a beautiful place!

hiking
Sun Jan 15 2017

The trail around the marsh area is great for bird watching and butterflies/flowers after spring rains. We did the 11 mile round trip on a Wednesday. Quiet and peaceful. But the trail had no water running when we went and the end of the trail where you have to turn around the view of the windmills was nice but it is adjacent to private property and there is a bunch of dumped trash & tires there. If i go back it would only be to walk the 2 mile loop, but I won't drive and hour out here to do a 2 mile hike. What I did like was on the loop they did have most the plants along it marked so you knew what it was.

hiking
Fri Mar 20 2015

Read on -- Morongo Valley has this hike as a main (and only?) attraction. The upper highly maintained loops and board walks are scenic and fun and excellent, however, the out and back extension that makes this a 9 mile hike is rather average (I wouldn't do that part again since there are better ways to spend your time, like Whitewater loop). Definitely explore the touristy beginning part near the parking lot - it's great. There's actually a marshy area there complete with board walks and thickets! Pretty cool for the desert. Note -- no dogs even on leash - how rude!!

hiking
Fri Jan 17 2014

We did this hike today, didn't see any big horn sheep this time but we have in the past. We parked one car at the trail end and started at the preserve. To find the trail end, look for the gas pipeline markers about 1/4 mi or so east of Rt 62 on Indian Canyon. There's some equipment with a chain link fence by the road there. It's probably not allowed to park along this road but it's not posted keep out. The road is very rough so use a high clearance vehicle. Be careful not to leave valuables in your car here. My GPS said it was almost 6.5 miles from the preserve to Indian Canyon Rd. This is an easy hike with very little grade change. Lots of different birds at the beginning.

hiking
Sat Dec 28 2013

I've been coming to this park for 20 years and I've seen a lot of changes. There are marked walks/hikes from easy to moderate and some are actually wooden walkways. If you're in the area it's pretty cool to peep it. I noticed a lot of birds, a deer, and all sorts of vegetation. There are Mountain Lion warnings but I wouldn't let that stop you. There's a story of Willy Boy, one of the last outlaws hunted by a riding posse. They made a movie.

hiking
Thu Sep 26 2013

Was nice .. My 7 year old was able to do the whole thing ..give it a try just not in the summer :/

hiking
Wed Sep 11 2013

Went back and did the Canyon Trail which is a 9 mile out and back. The hike was fairly easy but the trail had been washed out from recent rainstorms. Check weather reports before you do this hike as it is in a wash 90% of the way and flash floods are frequent. We saw Big Horn Sheep and snakes. Lots of birds.

hiking
Sat Aug 31 2013

Very first thing I noticed was the warning sign about mountain lions!! There are several trails here. I took the trail left to the Yucca Ridge and went the outer loop to hit all the trails. If you do this it is appox 3 miles. You can take the Canyon trail once you get to the fence but it was a very humid day and that trail alone is a 9 mile out and back trail. Ill do that another day. As for the trails, they are VERY well marked. You will notice all the signs informing you of the various types of bushes tree and cacti. There was a huge storm a few days before I went and a few spots of the trail was damaged but it was still easy to figure out. Another thing that didnt go unnoticed was the landscape is still damaged from a brush fire several years ago. There was only one small steep climb but other than that these trails are relatively easy. Once I got into the brush and trees the temp dropped about 10-15 degrees. Beautiful landscapes and tons of birds. It's absolutely amazing to see this in the middle of the desert. A definite must do.

hiking
12 days ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

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