Hidden Horseshoe and Pushwalla Palms Trail

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Coachella Valley Preserve

Hidden Horseshoe and Pushwalla Palms Trail is a 9.0 kilometer heavily trafficked loop trail located near Thousand Palms, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips and is best used from September until April.

Distance: 9.0 km Elevation Gain: 288 m Route Type: Loop

kid friendly


nature trips





wild flowers


over grown

no shade

no dogs

Note: Coachella Valley Preserve is closed Monday and Tuesday. For more information, please see https://coachellavalleypreserve.org/ This is a 17,000 acre site that is home to the Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard, which is found nowhere else in the world. It is also where the spectacular Pushawalla Trail is located which is fed by water seeping out of the San Andreas Fault. The Pushawalla Palms Trail is one of several well-maintained trails within the Coachella Valley Preserve, a 20,000-acre property that is home to sand dunes, groves of desert fan palms, and an array of wildlife that includes the rare fringe-toed lizard. It begins near the visitor center and follows the ridge of an uplifted earthquake fault past stunning views of the Coachella Valley down to a large palm grove, then returns via a scrub-covered wash.

1 month ago

Fun to try a different trail that’s easy to get to. We parked on side of road and hiked to Hidden Horseshoe Trail. LOTS of wildflowers. Desert dandelions, lupine, brittle brush, CA poppies. We spent extra time in the oasis area. Fun to see water. Good place for a picnic. Bring hiking sticks if you have them as trail uneven & rocky trail as you descend into the canyon. Worth the time & effort. Palms were beautiful. Not many people either. Was very windy today, but it kept us cool.

2 months ago

This is a great trail with only one or two places where the path footing is pretty loose. Spectacular views.

2 months ago

Very nice trail. It is marked but a little hard to tell which trail you are on because there are so many crossing trails. I definitely don't recommend following the alltrails recorded map. It lead me of the official trail, turned into 7 miles instead of 5.6 and got me lost for awhile.

3 months ago

Hiked this trail counterclockwise on 02/28/20. Encountered a little bit of everything: 1) ridge trail provided beautiful views of the surrounding area, 2) scrambled down/up rocky & loose gravel areas, 3) enjoyed the flat, shaded oasis area which had a variety of palm trees & a small stream of water...good place to stop for a rest/snack, 4) walk back was mainly flat in sand & dirt trail. Recommend adequate water, wear hat, sunscreen & hiking boots. Great hike!

3 months ago

This is an interesting hike. Expansive views from the ridge at the beginning and a nice walk through a palm valley about the halfway point. Please note: The trail map on this app shows a side trail that one would think takes you into the valley but it stops at a ridge overlooking the valley. We had to scramble down a ravine to get to the valley floor, which, it turns out, was unnecessary because the main trail comes around and eventually descends into the palm valley as you turn back South. So to shorten the hike you needn't take the side route in and out. As others have noted, signage could be improved at the end of the sandy wash as you may miss the hairpin turn back up the hill towards the North. Following the track provided here is highly recommended.

4 months ago

I wouldn't follow this particular recording again Stick to the basic Pushwalla Palms trail, it's only a mile less and you won't miss anything.

6 months ago

Thu May 09 2019

You definitely need to use the app once you get down to the wash, because the trail is not clearly marked. I also came across 4 snakes on one hike (crazy I know), one of which was a rattler with the others unknown to me

Fri Apr 05 2019

We hiked this trail clockwise which was opposite of all other hikers while we were there. It was a very windy morning, which added some excitement to hiking the ridge. It was our first time hiking this trail and it seemed the recent rains had taken a toll on the sandstone with a number of washouts. There is a out-n-back 1.8 miles into the hike that was closed which appeared to be due to a washout. The Pushwalla palm grove was cool. The AllTrails map was very helpful (almost necessary) once you get into the wash since its not well marked and the trail is not clear. Overall, a great hike.

Sat Feb 23 2019

Have done this trail now maybe 6 times, and is one of the very strong hikes in the "desert area". What I have noticed over the past 6 years is there are more and more interested hikers. We got to the parking area at 0830, and could not get a parking space in the smallish lot, but there's parking on the side of the road. When we returned at 1pm, there were 16 cars parked behind us on the side of the road. The visitor's center lot nearby was completely full, and maybe 30-40 cars were parked on the roadside just outside that lot. The trail is in fine shape in spite of the recent storms. We did the ridge trail, Pushwalla canyon "overlook area", and Pushwalla canyon itself (as well as the "northern wash canyon"). The wildflowers are definitely the best I've seen there. None of our trails were closed. There is one of the trails at the visitors center that was closed however (that was the only trail closed at the conservancy though). The snow in the high mountain areas was impressive. I always love my adventures there each year. The conservancy is called 1000 Palms Oasis conservancy. There is no fee.

Wed Feb 20 2019

My friend and I did a 5 mile out and back; didn't do the loop to Hidden Horseshoe due to an accident on the trail. We did not do the ridge trail but the lower one which was washed out in some places from the recent storms. But those same rains made the hike spectacularly beautiful with a profusion of wildflowers--hopefully a forerunner of another super-bloom year. For birders, this was very much better than being up on the ridge. Will certainly add this trek to my list of regular go-to hikes.

A bit too long for us, and we’d done most of it previously.

Fri Jan 04 2019

Great hike but the return after the palms is confusing. You follow a riverbed as others mention then at one point you need to turn right into the mountain and start climbing. I went the wrong way a few times and reconnected a way that is not even marked here. Was tough but we made it.

Fri Dec 28 2018

No trouble staying on trail with support of all trails topo.

Mon Dec 17 2018

My favourite out of 4 , and yet. For me it’s not well signposted. I backtracked 3 times .

Thu May 17 2018

Great hike. I came across rattle snake on south trail that drops into the Grove of Pushawalla Palms. Be very careful in warm weather as the Snakes are out. It's a great hike for cardio if you take the high route along the ridge. Beautiful view of the Coachella Valley. Early Spring flowers are an added bonus. Saw a couple horny toad lizards as well.

Fri Feb 09 2018

It's more desolate than the west side of the valley, so not as beautiful IMO, but still a nice hike. Signage started out great, then not so good anymore. Fortunately, it's in an old riverbed much of the way, so it's hard to go too wrong. Wanted to hike on the rim trail, but wasn't sure whether it would take me to Pushwalla Palms (it does, I'm told). When I continued out from Pushwalla Palms, I got quite turned around. (In the words of Daniel Boone, "I've never been lost, but I've been a might bewildered a few times.) Made it back to the Palms okay, but I was a bit concerned, because I usually have a very good sense of direction. All in all, I had a fine time.

Fri Feb 09 2018

Great hike. Stretch of trail along the ridge is quite exciting.

Thu Feb 08 2018

We enjoyed the unexpected sites we experienced on this hike. only a few minutes away from my in-laws house, we thought we'd feel like we were hiking through their backyard. it was a pleasant surprise to hear absolutely nothing just a few steps into the hike. Just 30 minutes into our adventure at 2:30 in the afternoon, we heard a pack of howling coyotes. You start the hike in the bottom of a dry riverbed which I believe is part of the San Andreas fault. You can choose to continue on the valley floor or go up a ridge line. We went up. Challenging incline for just a bit but obviously worth the climb. Views of Coachella Valley on one side, faultline, Palms, oasis, mountains and silence on the other. Will definitely do this again!

Thu Feb 08 2018

Good hike. Beautiful views on the upper trail. Interesting rusted truck frame in the wash heading down into the Pushwalla Grove. More water there than I expected. The upper trail on the ridge is strenuous to some degree, but the 360° views are outstanding. The turnaround and return hike is much easier, as you pass Horseshoe Palms. Worth the time. Take water. Enjoy

Sat Dec 30 2017

great trail. I am a local. definitely one of the better treks in valley...

Tue Dec 26 2017

The trail was well marked the first 1.5miles if you are going clockwise. After that it’s poorly marked and not well traveled in some areas because you are running/hiking in a dried riverbed. All of the ridge running is well traveled and easy to follow and the palms’ untouched beauty is a pretty special sight.

Thu Dec 14 2017

Well marked trail with many view points. Great views of a good sized Palm grove

Thu Oct 26 2017

Fun trail. Great views. I took this trail years ago and they’ve made some good changes.

Mon Apr 10 2017

Not difficult. Can be a little dusty. You can park at trailhead which is a little before the visitor center. Trail is well marked and views from top of the hill are nice.

Fri Mar 10 2017

Fun hike. Moderate w a bit of incline. Tons of beautiful wildflowers out!

Thu Mar 09 2017

Pretty steep climb to start but worth it! The path is very well groomed and marked - OUTSTANDING views. The desert is in bloom, bursting with the smells and beauty of various yellow, white, purple & green. Even the odd Barrel Cactus has pretty flowers extended. HIGHLY recommended but take lots of water - shade is hard to find in the AM past noon.

Mon Mar 06 2017

Great weather when we went and we went through so many different sections of different flowers. It was even fun to off-road it and not have to worry about getting too lost. Would definitely do it again!

Tue Feb 28 2017

We started hiking at 6:30am and reached the Palm Oasis at a perfect time in great soft morning light. It was so quiet and we enjoyed listening to the chirping of the birds.

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