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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Palm Desert, California Map
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Busy trail! Sunday morning 5am already had many people enjoying the trail before sunrise. On our way down later it was very busy. Great trail right in town that I would use a lot if I lived locally.

We really enjoyed this hike! It took us about 2:36 to complete the loop with only a little bit of time to stop once in a while to take in the views and snap photos. Great climb up with very little traffic (nobody else was on the trail with us). Trail head is within the Zoo and entry to the zoo is $20pp so it's great to spend 9-noon in the zoo and then hike the loop with a packed lunch. The trail head closes at 4pm and zoo gates lock at 5pm so don't get stuck there!

hiking
2 days ago

Good trail. Skinny in some areas. We did the counterclockwise loop by mistake but glad we did. Don’t think I’d enjoy hiking up the clockwise hike!

not a hard trail, it's moderate.

Great trail, Go left and get some elevation, Challenging but do-able, Can enjoy the walk/ run down the less steep side on the way back

hiking
12 days ago

Great views, moderately busy on a Saturday morning, some portions more challenging than the trail’s “easy” rating.

hiking
12 days ago

Great hike! Recommend doing it clockwise for a good workout but if you want something easier then do it counterclockwise. If you go clockwise, halfway up you can choose to go through Rabbit’s trail. It also leads you to the top but it is very steep.

hiking
14 days ago

Great hike! Great view from the top! Go left at the trail head for a more challenging hike to the top or right for a little less challenging

hiking
15 days ago

Go here if you want to hike among the desert flora! Lots of plants and views along this rocky, challenging trail. Start early! We started at noon in late November, had to turn around 4 miles in because it was getting late. Can’t wait to do the entire route next time.

I love this day hike. It is a good workout to the top! Lots of people if you want to hike with company.

This took 2 hours 45 minutes. We stopped at the picnic table and enjoyed the view of Bump and grind trail to the right, Eisenhower Mountain above, and the valley below.

17 days ago

Only covered 6.5 mile out and back but found it amazing. Great vistas around every corner. Light traffic for first 1.5 miles but after that the mountain was all ours.

Nice hike right in town. We went for a loop before Thanksgiving dinner, and it was the perfect length/difficulty for the family. Average views but pretty fun for us Seattle folks to see some desert.

I would hike this again!

hiking
20 days ago

I did this hike with 3 kids (12, 10, 7) and a dog. Everyone had a great time. We parked off the Thrush road lot. There is no climbing, but some elevation. To add more challenge, take the left (looking at the cross) trail and meet up with the main trail 1/3 of the way up. There are dog bowls and a hose at the cross. Also message rocks and notebooks to leave your thoughts. Plan your hike to arrive around sunset to enjoy the lit cross. Beautiful views all day.

hiking
20 days ago

Rewarding and a good grind

hiking
21 days ago

Great trail!

Great trail. Good views

hiking
25 days ago

Nice moderate trail. At the end we saw 3 bighorns.

This is a nice suburban trail with views of the Coachella Valley throughout. The three star rating is only relative to the many, many better trails you can find in this area. This trail is also appropriate for mountain biking. We started out at the trailhead on Painters Place behind the Target and walked 8 miles out and back. You never really lose touch with the urban valley or the hum of traffic, but it does have the advantage of easy access. Seems like a lot of people do this after work. There is a good long steady climb, nothing too steep or treacherous. About two thirds of the way to the turnaround you pass the illuminated cross up on the high point. Then the trail turns downhill towards the very exclusive Stone Eagle golf club. Looks like very challenging golfing if you like that kind of thing. There are rolling greens and mega mansions to look at. Almost at the end the trail drops down into a little canyon with a small natural oasis. Turn back around when you see the road. Voila!

hiking
28 days ago

Nice trail. Good views. It’s too bad that the ‘trail heads’ don’t offer more info. On the trail head map we found no mention of the Cross trail. There was a sign about a 1/3 of the way up.

1 month ago

So much fun!

hiking
1 month 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

1 month ago

Great hike

1 month ago

Great hike!

hiking
1 month 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.

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