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.


trail running


no dogs


nature trips

kid friendly



wild flowers

Palm Desert, California Map

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.

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.

12 days 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.

My husband and I really enjoyed this trail; beautiful vistas and not much traffic. The boulder field tests your footing and balance. Even on a 65 degree day we needed more than 20 oz of water each. Get your moneys worth by visiting the great zoo!

Nice inclines, not too brutal. Trying to rehab my knee so this was perfect. Trails are a little narrow and kinda rocky in spots, so watch your ankles! I don't know why this trail says "no dogs" because they have poop bags available and I seen many furbabies on the trail. Next time I will bring mine. :)

22 days ago

Should be rated as moderate because of the first half mile.

Nice trail. Not too difficult and it had some fun views and informational areas.

This trail is beautiful, but more difficult than moderate. The boulder field is challenging. Wear proper footwear and bring lots of water and healthy snacks.

28 days ago

This is a great everyday hike. It is also a nice night hike. It is heavily frequented and the trail is clearly marked. The views can be quit beautiful but it is not isolated from the surrounding city.

I always go clockwise but this is the steep way to go up. It’s a loop so anyway you go is good and you won’t get lost. I would highly recommend it to others.

I loved the actual hike part of this trail. The ONLY reason I didn't give it five stars was because the first and last miles are flat sand up to the canyon-- a bit uneventful physically and visually. However the rest of the hike was great. Loved the boulder/rock scrabbling part and some of the terrain. Well marked trail.

A few thoughts on this trail:
It's well marked, easy to find, easy to follow. Seemed to be good for trail running or even mountain biking or a less intense hike. It wasn't particularly technical in terms of foot placement or terrain type: most of it was a nice even sand-like path. Other reviewers are right though, the incline was aggressive for the first 1/2 mile. Not much to look at though compared to other trails in the area, and there was a fair amount of people. A good workout, but didn't do it for me overall.

friendly people. nice hike nice views. pretty easy hike.

Great views. A bit more ledges then I prefer. Very brisk walk and everyone along the way has a friendly hello. Everyone along the way is enjoying nature at its best.

Great local hike. Lots of people, views are great. Must do!

Great trail for all ages and levels.

1 month ago

A fun trail as described, but the trail is far from easy (should be classified as moderate). It is very steep for the first 150 yards, and then is a serious 1.3 mile, uphill climb to the cross. Also, the directions show a left turn to parking at the end; however, a right turn at the end will also take you to parking and is in the direction of the trailhead.

1 month ago

We followed directions on Google maps but couldn't find the Cross Trail trailhead. Instead there is a sign for the Homestead trail. We expected "easy" to mean "flat." Instead, the trail starts with a steep grade uphill.

1 month ago

Easy access, and way too many people. Local hiking hotspot. Some asshole was trying to mountain bike it with tons of people on it. Be smarter than that, wait til summer when all the snowbirds/geriatric crowd is gone.very steep on the south side, with a more moderate incline from the north. Good hike that will make you sweat

1 month ago

Close to town but not as scenic as Joshua Tree.

Endure the first half of the hike ascending the mountain, because you receive a bonus when you reach the summit: awesome views! The descent along the ridge is spectacular as you overlook the Coachella Valley below.

One of the best hikes we've done in the area.

Had a great time on the trail this morning. Loved the views and scrambling over boulders!

A great trail for training to do C2C hike

Nice trail. beginning and end big inclines.

We hiked 5 miles - in/out. Didn’t take the loop. Moderate hike and beautiful vista. Very busy - but it’s February and a Sunday. Bike, running and hiking. Very pet friendly. Bring water and start the hike by at least 8a.

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