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Whitewater Canyon View Loop Trail [CLOSED]

MODERATE 169 reviews
#5 of 5 trails in

Whitewater Canyon View Loop Trail [CLOSED] is a 3.6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Whitewater, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 3.6 miles Elevation Gain: 623 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash


trail running




wild flowers


bridge out




washed out


no shade

The road leading to the Whitewater Preserve was heavily damaged in a storm recently. The preserve is closed until further notice. Please check here for updates: Whitewater Preserve remains open and the only legal parking in the Canyon is in the Whitewater Preserve parking lot. Preserve hours are 8 am to 5 pm. Please arrive early, and carpool if you are with a large group, as the parking lot fills quickly. Posted signs prohibit horses and bicycles.

5 months ago

Road currently closed

no shade
6 months ago

Great hike, definitely has switchbacks and for experienced hikers. Seen some feral cows and enjoyed the great views.

6 months ago

Simply amazing views !!!

6 months ago

Did this twice while we stay in Palm Springs the month of January. Love it.

6 months ago

Beautiful view.. I loved it <3

7 months ago

The vistas were quite nice of the canyons and the riverbed. The walk up the north loop was steep but nicely switchbaacked. The riverbeds for dry. I agree that it is a moderate hike

7 months ago

Dec. 26, 2018 - everything was wide open trail-wise. Parking is indeed a challenge. Nice walk, especially up on the ridge. Not the best signage at the visitor center to start (you kind of fumble your way along until you stumble on the right path of many) but once we got going it was all good. Nice view at the top. And cows!

8 months ago

Ranger station reports the southern half of this trail is closed. You can’t do the loop.

9 months ago

Some part of the trail is closed due to fire. But it is still nice. Trial is not easy for small dogs, lot of rocks. However, it is still nice. You can hear water fall while hiking which makes this trial wonderful.

10 months ago

Super beautiful place, there is plenty of water running in the stream along the side of the canyon wall. Went with the dogs and they had a blast too.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Been there twice. If you take the Mission Creek Preserve entrance, you'll connect with the southern PCT trail intersection. Take the south fork and climb up the trail to a ridge on the trail that gives a view of Whitewater Canyon and the trail down the mountain towards the Whitewater River. The hike is close to 1000 ft elevation change. The view is spectacular. Take plenty of water as this is close to 8 miles from Mission Creek Preserve Road entrance. There is the stone house with picnic tables and even. Separate bathrooms. Along the way you'll see a massive growth of wild grapes in and around tall trees. Great views there as well. The rock formations are fascinating for the geologically inclined. Saw some rabbits, and heard lots of birds, but didn't see any other wild life (thank goodness no snakes!)

Monday, April 23, 2018

Beautiful hike, but very steep! Once you get to the canyon its not so bad.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Really great place to be,

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Such an amazing place for hiking. A great family environment.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Awesome morning hike, takes under 2 hours even with numerous stops and photos and you can bring your best 4 legged friend with you!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Lovely hike with great views once you reach the summit. If you begin at the ranger station you will soon encounter a climb with a series of switch backs. It's single file hiking for most of this trail. Heading down, it's rocky so watch your step. I brought a hiking pole to reduce the chance of slipping or losing my balance. I'm glad I did. I also agree with the moderate rating. Although there are areas I would consider "easy", the climbs both up and down definitely bump it up to a moderate hike in my opinion. Great trail for all ages, will hike it again.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

First, let me disagree with the previous poster that thought the trail was not "Moderate", but was instead "Easy". Any trail that climbs upward for about 40 minutes and over 700 feet is not "Easy". The trail started out (from the Ranger Station) mostly flat for about a half mile, then after we reached the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and headed south, it climbed up about 700 feet via a series of switchbacks. It took about 40 minutes to reach the top of a ridge line where the trail left the PCT and followed the ridge line for about a mile. Then we started back down to the bottom of Whitewater Canyon and looped back to where we started. The trail up was smooth and level – well-maintained. However, the trail down was a rough and rocky V-shaped trail created by runoff water. It didn’t look like they had spent much time maintaining this part of the trail, and it was slow going. It provided great views and I would do it again; however, I would like to see some effort made to improve the trail leading down to the entrance road.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Excellent hike today

Monday, March 05, 2018

I personally would not consider this a 'moderate' was relatively easy (my 2 year old daughter did this trail without any issues, along with her 5 older brothers - ranging from 12 down to 4. A friend of mine also brought her daughter who was 3 and had no issues). This was beautiful. Fun! Lots to do, especially for the kids. The switch backs were entertaining...nothing huge but the mere fact at how short they were was pretty funny especially since my wife had never done a series of switch backs yet. Overall - super cool trail. Saw a few animals, mainly wild cow.

Monday, February 19, 2018

This hike was incredible. The views are awesome. Easy hike but you can get your heart rate up on the switchbacks.

Saturday, February 03, 2018


Sunday, January 14, 2018

This is a fun, fairly challenging trail in a very pretty setting. Our group had three adults and five dogs (one was a 4.5 month old puppy who kept up like a champ) and, going at a very relaxed pace with several stops and detours for pictures and water breaks for the dogs, we were back at our car within 3 hours. Almost half of the trail is going up and then back down the mountain so be prepared for a steep hike with switchbacks. The majority of the trail is single-file narrow and exposed; I wouldn’t recommend this area during summer or on a hot day unless you really enjoy direct sunlight (bring LOTS of water if that’s the case). The river runs along the bottom of the mountain so there’s shade there but since the trail only crosses the actual river once, the shade’s pretty fleeting. We took a few detours to check the river out and it was flowing but seemed to be only about ankle- or calf-deep and easy enough to step or hop across at any point (we were there today, 1/13/18, just a couple of days after the area got some rain). Be careful when taking detours because parts of the trail along the river can be easy to lose due to other trails that split off but luckily the map on AllTrails was very helpful in finding our way back to this particular trail. The last almost-mile is on the road leading back to the trailhead. It’s not a busy road but there’s not a ton of room to move off of it when cars pass so be sure to keep kids and dogs close to you. The trailhead is beautiful with a rangers’ station, bathrooms, and several picnic tables. Even if you don’t want to do the trail, the trailhead is a nice place to relax and have lunch. A couple of things to note; parking is pretty limited (but free) and there are no trash cans. According to signs and the ranger at the trailhead (who was super nice and helpful), there’s no parking allowed on the road leading up to the trail and the designated parking lot only has roughly 40-50 spaces so if it’s full, you can drive out and back until a spot opens up or you’ll be out of luck. We arrived at the trail around 1:30pm and were lucky enough to only have to drive around and back once but I’m not sure what the normal “wait time” might be on a busy day. As far as trash cans go, you’re expected to leave with whatever you came with so be sure to have a bag or two to carry your trash out and back home with you. Additionally, we saw a sign that said the trail closes at 5pm. I’m not sure if that’s all year long or just during winter so you might have to check if you plan on a late afternoon hike. Happy trails! :)

Sunday, January 14, 2018

This is a beautiful hike! This time of year is perfect too because its not too hot. it was about 75 degrees with a good breeze. Its a moderate trail that gains about 700 feet in altitude. The trails are easy to follow as well. Bring your camera! There are picnic areas and I believe camping is allowed as well. The park is very nice as well! The ponds are very cool!! Don't miss out on this neat l little oasis!!

Friday, January 05, 2018

Amazing great Part of the Pacific crest trail..

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Beautiful place.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Nice views. Part of loop was closed. Definitely will go back. Saw a bighorn sheep!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Great hike will definitely go back to explore more

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Tons of different trails. Ended up walking about 6 miles up the river. Bring some hiking boots, lots of water, and flip flops. Hike to the North a little ways and have the river to yourself. It was moving pretty quick when I went in August of 2017.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Great place to enjoy the water

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