Randall Henderson Loop Trail

MODERATE 45 reviews
#3 of 3 trails in

Randall Henderson Loop Trail is a 2.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Palm Desert, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking and is best used from October until March.

2.5 miles
436 feet

kid friendly


mountain biking

trail running



no dogs

Desert loop hike close in to Palm Desert and the Coachella valley. This is a moderate hike with some nice views down into the valley. If you're lucky, you might see some bighorn sheep. Feel lucky?

18 days ago

good starter exercise walking trail well marked. traffic noise first 1/2, not too scenic.

1 month ago

It's a pretty mellow hike good for all ages. I took my parents on this hike and I recieved minimal complaining from them. Definitely easier than moderate, elevation gain is minimal. It was nicely marked and easy follow.

1 month ago

I agree with earlier comment that this is a fairly easy hike and quite pleasant. About 3/4 mile in, the trail splits (i.e., this is the loop area). Going right is sandier, wider, and a more gentle climb. Going left (having come down that way) is considerably steeper, much narrower and rockier so just come back the other way if you're not up for that.
There is no longer any access to the view from the top over the mountain towards Palm Desert as further use of that trail is prohibited (i.e., by the Big Horn warning sign). But the view back towards the climb was still pretty good.

7 months ago

Elevation first half. There is a little resting bench half way for a nice view and breather. For a beginner it's a good little challenge. Coyote dens and lots of birding. Beautiful views of the valley at the top! Tons of ant hills, don't stand still. This was only my 2nd hike ever so please note my review is from the eyes of a complete beginner. It took me an hour and a half to complete!

Loved it except the part where I ran into a Cholla cactus! That hurt

9 months ago

Great easy hike. Beautiful and safe.

If you're looking for a starter hike this is it

9 months ago

Such a beautiful trail! It offers a bit of everything, views of the desert, beautiful flowers, inclines and declines.

trail running
10 months ago

perfect running trail!!!!! its easy and the trail is built so you won't get lost!

10 months ago

Super easy and super enjoyable! Most of the hiking in the Palm Desert area is going up a large rock mountain. In comparison, the Henderson Trail is more like a nature hike. This trail gives you opportunity to see a lot of naturally occurring desert vegetation and cacti. Also great for bike riding because it is not crowded and has large paths.

Only downside is that they block off a large part of the summit to protect the Big Horns. Therefore you miss seeing the panoramic vistas.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Easy hike with some elevation gain giving you a good glimpse of some amazing ground level dessert landscape filled with unique plants and rocks as well as a good vista of you get all the way to the top and back down. Very accessible, easy free parking. Restrooms and water is available at the visitors center. Highly recommend if you want to stay close to the city.

Friday, November 25, 2016

This is a very well marked trail which I really like. No chance on getting lost. It is fairly easy and very little elevation (in my opinion) for those who don't like elevation gain. I really enjoyed this hike and had enough energy left over to do about an hour of the Art Smith trail which is across the street when I was done. BTW The Art Smith is also quite nice and well marked.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Perhaps desert hiking is not my favorite hiking... But this was a well marked trail, heavy sand in the wash area, the ridge route was nice. Couldn't get a view of the valley, as the prohibited area protecting the Big Horn sheep prevented us from peeking over the ridge. I was a bit disappointed.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Very nice non-strenuous walk with 80 year old dad.

trail running
Thursday, March 03, 2016

Lots of people on this trail. Easily accessible and a variety of plants to be seen. It's enjoyable walking or running up the wash.

This is a good introduction to hiking in the Coachella Valley.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Good morning hike in the desert. Nice views some up hill but not bad. Very close to the road but at times you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere

Monday, February 08, 2016

Starting to see color. Great

Sunday, January 24, 2016

This was a nice little hike...more of a long walk. Trail is well maintained. Runners are fine. Was fun with the limited time we had available.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

This was a nice little morning leg stretcher. There are nice views down into the valley and modest distance and elevation gain. Bering water and sun protection because this trail is very exposed. There were lots of folks out enjoying the trail today, and they were good company. Part of the trail is closed off the protect bighorn sheep. They didn't make an appearance though.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

For the seasoned hiker, this is a very pleasant low-level walk from the Santa Rosa Monument center off Hwy 74. You can pick up a pamphlet at the monument that provides an explanation for the dozen or more discretely marked items of interest along the trail. You can choose to take a shorter loop if you wish. My wife and I really enjoyed this walk and have done it several times. There's also the chance of seeing Big Horn sheep. The Art Smith Trail is just across the road.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

This is a nice desert trail. Come early in the summer and park across the hwy at the Art Smith trailhead parking lot. 8AM is really too late to start in the heat of the summer.
The trail is well marked, but as I can attest it is possible to get off of it on a spur to nowhere.
Not at all strenuous, but still a nice walk. Bring water and a big brimmed hat, that is just about the only shade you are going to get.

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