Explore the most popular trails near Palm Desert with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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views

trail running

no dogs

walking

wildlife

nature trips

kid friendly

birding

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Palm Desert, California Map
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6 days ago

So much fun!

hiking
6 days ago

It's a nice trail but nothing spectacular (thus the four stars). You start in a large flat wash, then hit a fence. the gate is to the left (south). Obviously, if it's open you can hike. After the fence, the canyon narrows and becomes more interesting. Near the end, it starts to get steep and very rocky so you have to do some scrambling (but nothing dangerous or technical). You end up at a lush oasis, which is a nice goal. You could hike further but the trail gets even steeper and rockier.

My favorite trail! Lots of different terrain, and magnificent views! Bring lots of water, good trail shoes, and a snack for the top! The boulder climbing is great too!

Love this trail....walked up to the big dry waterfall. Lots of animal prints in the sand and big horn poop everywhere but never saw wildlife. Maybe next time!

Go left for the best challenge!!!

Our first hike here this morning and we saw a family of 4 Big Horn sheep...there was a baby and another younger sheep with them! Nice trail! I posted pictures of the sheep. Wish I could upload the videos

on The Cross Trail

13 days ago

Great hike

13 days ago

Great hike!

hiking
19 days ago

Very interesting for such a short hike. Wide open wash at first, then narrow shady canyon, turn left at the Y and walk up to an overlook with a view of the valley and a palm oasis. If you turn right at the Y, a short walk brings you to an interesting dry waterfall. It looks impassible, but it's moderately easy to climb up. You'll have to judge the safety level, but there are lots of hand and foot holds on stable rock. At the top is a few palms.

Great trails for beginners a little bit of everything.

trail running
1 month ago

Great trail. Great for trail running. Especially if you want to work on hills.

I hike every morning..

hiking
2 months ago

trail closed January 1- September 30 to protect the big horn sheep. We saw at least 9 sheep near the entrance. Gate is locked so did not do hike, but enjoyed watching the sheep

hiking
3 months ago

The views were just fine - a couple spots that offered decent views of the mountains, but mostly looking down at the city. Not objectively bad but not what I look for in a hike. Relatively easy

This is my favorite to showcase Indian Wells and Palm Desert. Begin by ascending up the dry creek bed to the crest at 1000 feet. You'll experience the "bonus" when you arrive at the "half-way" shelter. Take a breather at the picnic table under the shelter, but make sure you walk a few extra paces to peer over the edge of the cliff at a 180 degree view of central Coachella Valley. You'll enjoy wonderful views all along the second half of the 4.8 mile trek.

Great little trail and views

trail running
3 months ago

This trail is extremely crowded in peak times such as the morning, weekends, and especially on holidays. The trail brings you up to the famous St. Margaret's cross which is both a local favorite and a bit of a tourist attraction. The view a top the trail is decent but if you want a better view of Palm Desert then try the bump n grind. Good running trail if done twice in succession.

trail running
3 months ago

Pretty simple and short trail, easily accessible and extremely crowded in the mornings. the hike is easier when done counterclockwise though, normally you follow it clockwise for the quick elevation gain and the cardio. This is a great running route. the view from the top of the trail gives you a great view of Palm Desert and Indian Wells as well.

hiking
3 months ago

It's definitely an easier trail but I wouldn't call it easy, especially if you start at the typical base. It does connect to a couple easy routes that are good for beginners and kids to do. It's shorter too than many of the trails unless you do the loops but still an excellent workout! I do it every morning.

Great to get your heart pumping. City views, and pretty busy but still lots of space to yourself. No shade.

hiking
4 months ago

Did it up to the second oasis today, 109 degrees. I had a 2 liter camel back which was just enough water for the three miles each way.

Still beautiful when most everything is dry. Much better 2 weeks after a rain in the spring...but then you don't get it all to yourself!

Saw a lot of mountain bike tire tracks, they must meet the trail at the top and use it as a down hill exit.

Saw several coyote scat piles on the trail, one still wet. Would have liked to have seen it, but no other sign.

My favorite trail in the desert for a good/quick workout. From the trailhead, if you’re wanting better views, go right & loop around. If you’re wanting a killer workout, go left & loop around.

One of our favorite spots in Palm Desert. Great views & you can bring your dog along! Trail is steep but short. It’s a good, easy workout!

A favorite for taking my dog! It's best to go early because after the sun rises there isn't much shade at all and it starts to heat up pretty quickly. Also be sure to bring plenty of water, more than you think you'll need. They have dog bowls at the top so your dog can drink, too. It's so nice.

hiking
4 months ago

Crowded, partly an old road. Not pretty. There are many other better trails in the desert.

Scenic and dramatic!

Not a bad hike. It’s a good workout. No shade, just be prepared..

hiking
6 months ago

This is a great hike! Very easy to navigate. 35-45 minutes to complete. This is a great option to incorporate to your fitness routine. Friendly people as well. Give it a try.

This hike has some ascent at the beginning. We saw a mountain goat chowing down on a cactus. We didn’t go to the end but enjoy the sites.

This trail is right off the main road and very popular with people. It is a good challenge up to the top and great views .

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