Explore the most popular hiking 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.

Scenic and dramatic!

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

hiking
10 days 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 .

Alot of variety and nice views!

Amazing views. You get to experience lots of variety. You go through three oasis. Not a difficult hike, only ascent is at the beginning of the hike. Difficulty is in the distance. If you plan to do the whole 21km one-way you have to start really early since it gets really hot.

I was visiting Palm Desert and wanted to gain some elevation for a view. This was a fun hike with terrific views, glad I chose it.

Great trail. Nice scenery and views. Got to the 6.1 mile mark that indicated the end of the trail, but it seemed to go on at least a mile more to the horizon. Only reason for not getting 5 stars was that there were extremely irritating eye gnats for several hours of this hike.

hiking
1 month ago

My son & I did the loop this morning in about an hour starting about 8:30. Definitely ascend clockwise as the trail is quite craggy. There are many switchbacks to the top but none are too vertical. Completing the loop on the descent the trail is generally wider with fewer rocky steps so it's an easy run to the end. I'm 72 and he is 35. We both agree that on a scale of 1-10 this hike is a 6 for difficulty and a 9 for fun.

Easy trail with great views.

Just when you think how easy this is it takes you on a roller coaster ride around and around. Lots of fun and good workout. Ended up on wrong trail going down and disembarked two miles from my car.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail should be rated moderate to strenuous if hiked in a clock-wise direction. The "Grind" portion is quite steep, however it's better to hike up the Grind than down. Good work out hike. Very popular and crowded.

Great trail, love it.

I just love this local trail,

This trail should absolutely be done in the early spring and fall! Even may be nice during the winter. Temps are so so hot down here, bring plenty of water for everyone and snacks for breaks during the hike! Wear good shoes. The beginning Part is straight up and then it gets a little rocky before being leveling out. Nice views the whole way and an excellent workout!

Very interesting hike.... lots of water for sure, start early in the morning since it’s hot in the summer... I’ll do it again!!

hiking
1 month ago

One of our favorite hikes in the desert. Easy enough for our 12-year olds, but please watch your step going up & down. It looks intimidating, but it's great fun, with the switchbacks up the mountain. Wouldn't recommend for a bike, but we saw nutters doing it. At the top of the switchbacks, walk off-trail to the right (East) side, up a little hill - at the top is an amazing panoramic view. Parking can be a challenge since this is a very popular trailhead for multiple trails, esp. on weekends.

Many different views of the valley.

Good but too many people!!

hiking
2 months ago

Should be rated ‘Moderate’

Really liked the hike and views. Took about 2hrs and 15 minutes for us to complete. Good views at the top. Can take the loop either way, but recommend counter clockwise so you go up the boulders. Costco sells passes and can save on the admission to the park.

I have seen the Cross while driving South on Bob Hope many times so it was great to actually hike up to see it.

hiking
2 months ago

An enjoyable hike. Very popular, and an inviting ‘starter hike’ for those new to desert hiking around Palm Springs and area.

Quick elevation to start then a more reasonable climb with great views across the valley and then inner canyons towards the oases. Blooms are just starting to pop and should be very good next few weeks! Did 1 hour 15 minutes out (1,769) and then returned for total 2 hour hike. Look forward to returning for longer hike.

hiking
2 months ago

I walked this trail today. Started at Art Smith Trail Head and proceeded in to approximately 1.2 miles to the junction then continued on the Hop Along Cassidy trail to finish at the Bump and Grind. Total distance is 9.5 miles. At a good pace it was 3 hours and 15 minutes for me.

The trail is great. Beautiful views lots of changing slopes along the way. Highly recommend a camelback full of water for the trip and maybe some snacks.

Along the route you will pass just along the eastern edge of the Stone Eagle Golf course, and then right by the Cross. After that the trail ends at the Bump and Grind just at the base of the steep ridge climb.

Definitely worth the time although I would recommend this only be done be at least semi-experienced trail hikers due to its length and some of the grades to climb.

I definitely preferred going clockwise around the loop; that meant I climbed the steepest route and descended the longer, less steep direction.

Fairly easy short hike except for moderate climb at start and descent near end. Took me an hour. Good hike if you are short on time or new to the area. Impressive views of the mountains, valley, and geology of the hillside. People on the trail are very friendly. I enjoyed it and plan to hike it again on our next visit. Smooth walking surface. Go early on a weekday to avoid traffic, heat, and crowds. Parking areas on popular trails fill up fast. Trailhead at Cahuilla Hills Park is easy to find and has a restroom and maps.

I took off a star because signage was confusing. I looked for Herb Jeffries Trail to start but did not find it - partially my fault. I began on the Gabby Hays part of the loop. But that trail name appeared only near the start. From there the trail name Hopalong Cassidy Trail was on the signs. It took me a while to figure out that the Hopalong Cassidy and Gabby Hays Trails share the same path. I had to ask someone to verify that and locate the point where the trail diverges to the Herb Jeffries Trail which completes the loop. The sign for the Herb Jeffries Trail at the parking area is too small and easy to miss. If you want to start on the Herb Jeffries Trail, walk toward the tennis courts to find the trail connector and follow the signs (this part is very well marked).

Enjoy this and many other trails in Palm Desert and Palm Springs area. There is a great variety of trails, scenery, and degree of difficulty.

A vigorous hike with a great view of the valley. A must do hike every time we visit. I see why the locals use it daily.

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