Round Valley Loop

MODERATE 54 reviews

Round Valley Loop is a 3.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Palm Springs, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October.

DISTANCE
3.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
793 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

Accessing the trailhead first requires a trip on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. The ride is $25 for an adult. Permits are required and can be obtained for free at the Ranger station at the first junction past the Tram station. The Round Valley Loop is an excellent day hike encompassing much of the valley between the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and Mount San Jacinto. Hiking the loop in a counter-clockwise direction takes one up a steady climb along side a seasonal creek to Round Valley. It then travels along the southern rim of the valley with great views of Mt. San Jacinto and other nearby peaks before dropping back into the valley and the Tram Station area. Many other trails, including the hike to San Jacinto peak itself, branch off from this loop.

1 month ago

Nice trail for a moderate hike. Partly shady.

backpacking
2 months ago

Got an early start on a Sunday. Rode the tram up to the trailhead. Fair amount of day hikers and rock climbers. But after I got to Round Valley the crowd thinned out. Nice uphill hike. Not too bad. I went counterclockwise and had about 45lb pack. Took plenty of rests and enjoyed the scenery. Glad there was a trickle of water at RV ranger station. I climbed the trail to Lotus campsite. Nice ridge to camp. About 4 nice level spots. Cool breeze too. But the wind died down at dusk. Very peaceful sleeping that time of year (July). Nice views east towards the desert and Salton Sea. Very relaxing and some nice areas to explore too. Broke camp Tuesday morning. Very nice hike back to the tram, all down hill, until you get to the tram station. That last hump on the pavement to the station was kinda tuff. Nice facilities at the station, restaurant, bar, snacks, good way to end the trip. Ranger Bill and Jerry were so helpful and friendly.

hiking
2 months ago

Lovely loop that lets you hike the Mt. San Jacinto area yet stay relatively close to the Tram station. The trail head begins at the sign behind the ranger's station where you must fill out a permit. The permit is free, but be sure to get one. The fine, if you're caught without one, is expensive ($450). At the sign, you have to choose if your going to go left (clockwise) or right (counter clockwise). Going clockwise will be steeper, yet shorter ascent to the High Country trail. It will be a tough climb if you're not in shape. Plenty of rocks and boulders to sit and rest if needed. Counter clockwise the hike to the High Country trail will be about twice as long, but the ascent not nearly as steep. You can also explore the surrounding area off this trail such as Round Valley and the Willow Creek Trail. Be sure to drop off the copy of your permit before heading back up to the the Tram station.

hiking
4 months ago

Great loop trail at the top of the tram. Recommend going counter clockwise on the trail so you get the harder rockier part of the trail out of the way going up.

4 months ago

Beautiful hike! ♡

5 months ago

Great trail. Views were amazing through the trail and breathtaking from the desert view points. Will be going back for several hikes and improve my stamina for longer hikes.

5 months ago

Apparently one must take the tram to get to the trailhead. I’m not sure why the All Trails review failed to mention that. Would’ve been good to know. I had no interest in a tram ride so did not end up hiking this trail. Pretty disappointing.

hiking
5 months ago

It was a great refreshing hike that got us out of the sun and heat. We didn’t buy a map and took a picture of the trail map at the bottom of the tram path as our guide. That worked well. Still some snow and ice in patches on the trail.

hiking
5 months ago

This was a great hike for all ages. We took our 6 yr old, 11 yr old and 17 yr. old and they all enjoyed it. It did not have very many long stretches of uphills that frustrate our youngest. The trail had a few slushy/icy patches but they weren’t big nor were they muddy. The trail was mostly clear walking over sandy dirt but it also had a few short areas that you walk over some boulders that are mostly underground. In terms of length, it was a bit long for our youngest so we gave him piggy back rides on and off throughout. The terrain is varied enough though that we could make believe we were American Ninja Warriors to keep him going.

The scenery is amazing! Huge trees, giant boulders of granite. Plenty of open areas plus areas where you’re weaving through the boulders. On this hike, there isn’t a place where you overlook all of Palm Desert/Springs but there are other trails in the same area that you can.

The time of day we hiked (11:30-1:30) wasn’t very busy on this particular hike. We saw 4 other groups of two people the whole time we were hiking. The ranger was very helpful in selecting a trail based on our skill levels and gear. He had a great knowledge base of the history, flora and fauna.

BE AWARE!!! you HAVE TO sign up for a FREE hiking permit to hike anywhere outside the two short hikes (Desert View Trail and Discovery Nature Trail) that are right behind the aerial tramway (see next paragraph). If you don’t, the ticket is $450. You stop at the white and red Ranger station that is west and downhill from the tram.

This hike is at the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and I’m unsure if there is another easy rout right to this trail. The tram ride costs $25/adult and $17/child. You can get a discount on tickets365.com. The ride is amazing as is the history of the tram.

hiking
6 months ago

Great loop trail at the top of the tram. Took us exactly 2 hours. Views are spectacular. We went counter clockwise going up through the trees and down with the overlook views. This was recommended by the rangers and was terrific. A bi of squishy snow in places.

Highly recommended

hiking
7 months ago

Hiked this trail on Monday, 2/19/18. It was snowing with a wind advisory on Monday. Trail was beautiful snow covered. Hard to follow with the snow at times. About a mile in I encountered ice so I put on my crampons/micro spikes and hiked the rest of the trail with no problem.

7 months ago

Easy scenic route

backpacking
9 months ago

Did this loop two weekends back but included a trip up to the summit of San Jack. Had a great time, with late fall weather.

hiking
11 months ago

The Round Valley Loop is an excellent day hike encompassing much of the valley between the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and Mt. San Jacinto. Hiking the loop in a counter-clockwise direction takes one up a steady climb along side a seasonal creek to Round Valley. It then travels along the southern rim of the valley with great views of Mt. San Jacinto and other nearby peaks before dropping back into the valley and the Tram Station area. Lots of great scenery and chances to see wildlife.

4 days ago

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2 months ago

recorded Round Valley Loop

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