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

hiking

views

walking

no dogs

nature trips

trail running

birding

wild flowers

wildlife

kid friendly

forest

mountain biking

horseback riding

river

waterfall

dogs on leash

Palm Springs, California Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Absolutely beautiful day to hike today! Always great scenery and always have fun tram ride to the station. This is the easiest hike of the six pack of peaks but one of the most rewarding. Highly recommend going on first tram up.

Easy trail, gorgeous greenery mixed with the feel of the desert.

Whoa. 11,000 ft of climbing! Started at 4:30 am, solo, with a headlamp, climbed and climbed for a little less than seven hours to hit the summit. Despite a ton of experience on similar terrain -- especially at the lower elevations, the trails aren't that different than those I run in Scottsdale - I did have a little trouble finding the optimal route at times. Nothing serious, just added a bit to the growing paranoia one sometimes get when hiking unknown trails alone. Gear-wise, I brought a 70oz Nathan pack for water and like 20 Gu-type packets. I tucked a somewhat heavy technical hoodie into my pack and tied a light long sleeve shirt around my waist, but I ended up only using my long sleeve shirt for a few mins while I was chillin' (literally) at the summit.

Difficulty-wise, I'd put it in the same class as a Mt Whitney or a Pike's Peak, although they're maybe a tiny bit shorter, in terms of time on your feet, but altitude is less of a factor.

Great hike! The tram up is amazing and the hike itself I loved. All Trails map was on point

Awesome! Tram is well worth the money. Great scenery and summit views

Amazing transitions from valley floor to high desert and into a true alpine ecosystem. Stout hike

Warning to parents hiking with kids under 13.... kids *may* be susceptible to altitude sickness. If your child starts getting a mild headache on the way up....go back down ASAP and summit another day. The mountain can wait. My 12 year old (very fit) son started with a headache 500 feet from the summit, then vomited immediately (4x). Had to rush him off the mountain to the tram parking lot. Ah...the life of SoCal 'flatlanders'.

Be aware of $9 per person entrance fee. Well worth it. The trail is part of Indian Canyons. It was a fun and interesting hike lots of beauty and interesting features. I'd definitely hike it again.

Incredible hike and change of scenery along the way. The tram ride up was well worth the money as well, very cool experience shooting up through the mountains. In terms of difficulty, I’d say it’s on average a moderate hike compared to most 10-12 mile hikes of similar elevation gain, nothing technical and never need to use hands/knees, very manageable if conditioned for this distance. Go on a clear day because the views at the summit are beautiful and 360.

hiking
5 days ago

Another classic Palm Springs hike -- similar terrain to the South Lykken trail, but follows a secluded canyon up to the top of a mountain ridge rather than trails along the rim -- some striking views and scenery -- highly recommended.

It was my very first summit hike. Loved it! Will be back again.

Loved this hike. It is an easy to moderate hike. The desert foliage and beautiful waterfall at the end - make it worth the admission price.

Nice trail kinda short for Backpacking
but we went to the summit back down the other side to little round valley fill up water at round valley last chance for water

Beautiful but on the easier side. I would not give this a moderate rating. The falls and pool at the end are beautiful.

Staff wasn’t very friendly at visitors center seemed annoyed I was trying to ask what snake I saw on the trail when I showed them picture. I plan to return but stay clear of staff only interested in collecting money vs friendly customer service.

the first mile is in the dry heat of Palm Springs. Once you get to the river, it is amazing! You cross the river several times and as much as I tried to keep my feet dry-they were wet. I ended up just saying f it and walking in the water instead-just ring out your socks. your clothes will be dry by the time you get back to your car.

This trail was amazing. Should not be rated as hard, as the incline was very minimal and gradual over the whole hike. Beautiful views and even got to see some snow at the top! I highly suggest this hike, one of the coolest ones I've done in Southern California!

best views of palm springs looking east

Worth the walk. The views from Wellman's Divide were excellent. I am planning to hike to the peak soon, so this was a warmup. Rather than a straight out and back I took the high trail back from Round Valley to extend the hike a bit (bear right at the junction). It was a great afternoon on San Jacinto!

my daily hike, wonderful

First trail I’ve done on the West coast. Very challenging of course for being an east coast mountain guy. Started at 2345 and reached the tram station around noon. Reached the peak around 1600, and tram station around 1900. The toughest trail I’ve done and felt like it would never end. We didn’t get a chance to see the Mt. at day light before we hiked so taking the tram down made us realize how monstrous of a mountain/ hike this was. All in all I loved the challenge and learned the true meaning of “hike your own hike! Bring 4-6 L of water and a first aid kit, it become very useful. Tracked a total of 22 miles

hiking
14 days ago

Hiked the grand tour on 5/5/18.
You can complete this loop circuit on foot but I spotted my mtn bike at the South Ridge trail head and drove down to the Ernie Maxwell south trail head to begin my trek. Started at 6 am hiking to Humber Park then headed up the Devils slide trail and arriving at Saddle Jct at 8am. From there I took the trail leading to Tahquitz valley, and on to little Tahquitz valley. At little Tahquitz I left the main trail and started off cross country towards Red Tahquitz and soon picked up the PCT southbound for a short way before once again going off trail to the summit. Please know this area is closed due to the Mountain fire and traveling through this area could result in a fine, however I never entered into any burnt forest and feel the forest service should not close un burnt areas, but this is just my opinion. Arriving at Red just before 9:30 I took a 20 min break to take in the outstanding views from the peak before heading towards Tahquitz peak. Another 20 min break here before heading down the South Ridge trail and the end of the hike. From hear you can do like me and spot a bike or walk down the road 1.2 miles back to the start point. If you decide to take on this trek you should have good off trail skills with good knowledge of a map and compass for the off trail segments. There is a use trail to Red’s summit and I cleaned up a bit of it but it traveled into the burned area so that’s as far as I got with it. Enjoy and be safe.

It's a nice peak, worth hiking. For a real butt kicker, do the cactus-to-cloud trail which starts all the way down in palm spring. One of the hardest day hike. I'd say that just doing the summit is a bit dull - compared to other hikes in the world. I don't know much more what is around there, but the way from the tram to the peak isn't all that exciting. But the view on top is nice.

April 28, 2018 - No snow, a bit windy on top but a wind breaker was enough. You might want to add the summit of San Jacinto to do cactus to cloud, but this is the "backup" in case you are destroyed already once at the tram station. Going to the summit adds a decent kick but makes the trip much better

Great hike, and very strenuous. I did the C2C2C, so I didn't take the tram down - according to my GPS going to the top is more like 16 miles so alltrails seem a bit off (2x=32 and about 11500 total elevation change). It's the hardest trail I've done so far. It's possible but quite a challenge 4AM to 7PM, without much stop other than refill water. And I'm a decently fast uphill hiker. The view is nice, and it is special to start in the desert with flowering cacti, get to tree level, and having this wonderful view up top. Also by starting at night, you don't get to see much of the desert at first (if you start early enough) but you get to see it if you go down.

So if you are looking for a butt kick, go for it, either up to the ranger station, up to the peak, or even C2C2C. The good thing is that thanks to the tram and ranger station, you have a way out if you tackle more than you should have. And you have refills of water (at least it was possible when I did it).

Regardless of what you do, you should know that starting at night is THE way to do this - I started at 4 AM and I think most people start at 3. The trail is decently marked, and it was full moon so I didn't use my headlamp (except after being flared by other hikers). Having a GPS is nice anyway to not lose any time wondering, but not an absolute must-have. By starting early, you get to be already up 3-4k up already, so it won't get as hot once you are in the trees. The other thing to know is bring a lot of water, but when I did it, you could refill water at the ranger station. I brought about 4 L, and drank all day about 13-14 L to give you an idea.

If you want to try to go the whole way, here are the time to give you some idea if you are late and should bail. As I said before, I'm a decently fast uphiller, so it's good to keep in mind when planning your day.

4:15 AM start
9:15 Ranger station (+water)
12:00 Peak
2:45 Start decent from ranger station (+water)
7:00 Back to palm spring

April 28, 2018 - No snow, a bit windy on top but a wind breaker was enough . I started from the museum but I guess it's all the same.

Great hike, and very strenuous. I did the C2C2C, so I didn't take the tram down - according to my GPS going to the top is more like 16 miles so alltrails seem a bit off (2x=32 and about 11500 total elevation change). It's the hardest trail I've done so far. It's possible but quite a challenge 4AM to 7PM, without much stop other than refill water. And I'm a decently fast uphill hiker. The view is nice, and it is special to start in the desert with flowering cacti, get to tree level, and having this wonderful view up top. Also by starting at night, you don't get to see much of the desert at first (if you start early enough) but you get to see it if you go down.

So if you are looking for a butt kick, go for it, either up to the ranger station, up to the peak, or even C2C2C. The good thing is that thanks to the tram and ranger station, you have a way out if you tackle more than you should have. And you have refills of water (at least it was possible when I did it).

Regardless of what you do, you should know that starting at night is THE way to do this - I started at 4 AM and I think most people start at 3. The trail is decently marked, and it was full moon so I didn't use my headlamp (except after being flared by other hikers). Having a GPS is nice anyway to not lose any time wondering, but not an absolute must-have. By starting early, you get to be already up 3-4k up already, so it won't get as hot once you are in the trees. The other thing to know is bring a lot of water, but when I did it, you could refill water at the ranger station. I brought about 4 L, and drank all day about 13-14 L to give you an idea.

If you want to try to go the whole way, here are the time to give you some idea if you are late and should bail. As I said before, I'm a decently fast uphiller, so it's good to keep in mind when planning your day.

4:15 AM start
9:15 Ranger station (+water)
12:00 Peak
2:45 Start decent from ranger station (+water)
7:00 Back to palm spring

April 28, 2018 - No snow, a bit windy on top but a wind breaker was enough

Great hike, and very strenuous. I did the C2C2C, so I didn't take the tram down - according to my GPS going to the top is more like 16 miles so alltrails seem a bit off (2x=32 and about 11500 total elevation change). It's the hardest trail I've done so far. It's possible but quite a challenge 4AM to 7PM, without much stop other than refill water. And I'm a decently fast uphill hiker. The view is nice, and it is special to start in the desert with flowering cacti, get to tree level, and having this wonderful view up top. Also by starting at night, you don't get to see much of the desert at first (if you start early enough) but you get to see it if you go down.

So if you are looking for a butt kick, go for it, either up to the ranger station, up to the peak, or even C2C2C. The good thing is that thanks to the tram and ranger station, you have a way out if you tackle more than you should have. And you have refills of water (at least it was possible when I did it).

Regardless of what you do, you should know that starting at night is THE way to do this - I started at 4 AM and I think most people start at 3. The trail is decently marked, and it was full moon so I didn't use my headlamp (except after being flared by other hikers). Having a GPS is nice anyway to not lose any time wondering, but not an absolute must-have. By starting early, you get to be already up 3-4k up already, so it won't get as hot once you are in the trees. The other thing to know is bring a lot of water, but when I did it, you could refill water at the ranger station. I brought about 4 L, and drank all day about 13-14 L to give you an idea.

If you want to try to go the whole way, here are the time to give you some idea if you are late and should bail. As I said before, I'm a decently fast uphiller, so it's good to keep in mind when planning your day.

4:15 AM start
9:15 Ranger station (+water)
12:00 Peak
2:45 Start decent from ranger station (+water)
7:00 Back to palm spring

Awesome! Great variety. Go from desert to pine forest to cold summit. Very physically demanding. I started at 5:30am, reached the ranger station at noon, and the summit by 3pm. It is a super tough hike to get to the state park. It is much easier from there on. I packed about 3 liters of water and a bottle of Pedialite, plus plenty of snacks. Seemed to work out pretty well. I had about a liter of water left and a little Pedialite by the time I got to the ranger station but I am good about not drinking that much so you may need more. I stopped every hour and a half to two hours for a drink and snack. You can refill water at the ranger station and also you need to fill out a permit there to keep going. I took the tram back down the mountain. Seriously though, if you are not in pretty good hiking shape, this may not be for you, but if you are, definitely go for it. It is a fantastic hike, and I personally felt super accomplished when I reached the summit of San Jacinto. Not to mention the view at the top was amazing. I would def do it again, only if I did I would hike it all the way back down.

Lots of stairs, not great for strollers! Otherwise, beautiful hike and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the waterfall at the end. Took about an hour out and back, but depends on how long you hang out. Bring water, sunscreen, and good shoes.

Preparation and patience is key for this hike. I suggest starting around 3am because it does get quite hot even before sunrise below the 4300 feet landmark. Bring 4-6L of water for the ascent on the Skyline trail section and take ample breaks if you feel fatigued. While I strongly advise sticking to a routine of cardiovascular exercise in the weeks leading up to C2C, reaching the summit is a very attainable goal. Be smart, but don't be too intimidated by what you might read on this site or others. The San Gabriel Mountains provide many great hikes at moderate-to-high elevations to help train for this endeavor.

Load More