Explore the most popular forest 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.

Hiked this yesterday and it was a beautiful and scenic hike! Even though it was about 87*F in palm springs, it was in the high 30s low 40s at the summit. Definitely a tough hike because of the elevation but the view of San Gorgonio and overlooking the desert was definitely worth it!

13 hours ago

I had only hiked here in summer, so I decided to try this trail during the winter for my first snowshoeing adventure. Rentals are available at the Winter Adventure Center, located not far from the bottom of the tram path. Many people were attempting to hike without snowshoes and were postholing down to their knees and thighs. As a result, most didn't make it very far and I had the trail nearly all to myself. Obviously, the "trail" was a little harder to follow but you get the general idea, and in most places there were previous tracks to follow. It was so beautiful to see such a familiar place blanketed in snow! So if you're looking for something new and different, this is highly recommended for snowshoeing. As always, be aware of the weather forecast, be prepared for quickly changing conditions, and dress in layers. Conditions were beautiful along the lower portion of the trail but the wind was gusting pretty hard at the notches and it was significantly colder.

on Desert View Trail

1 day ago

Easy loop with great views of the Coachella Valley, San Jacinto & Santa Rosa Mtns, and more. Very accessible for visitors and beginners.

This was all worth it! I loved the transition from desert to forest! It feels like two different hikes! We started at around 4:00 am made it to the top in 11 hours and got back to the tram at 5:00 pm.

5 days ago

Great loop trail at the top of the tram. Recommend going counter clockwise on the trail so you get the harder rockier part of the trail out of the way going up.

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.

Whoa. 11,000 ft of climbing! Started solo at 4:30 am with a headlamp, climbed and climbed for a little less than seven hours to hit the summit. (+ an extra two hours / 3000 ft of descent back to the tram and some french fries.) 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 or a Grand Canyon R2R. BTW - current record according to Strava? 3:35!

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'.

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.

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

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

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!

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!

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

20 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

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.

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.


Everything about this hike is great! The trail itself, the different experience of taking the tram, and the views!! In our Top 10.

Toughest trail Ive done yet. Good training tool to get in shape, crazy shape.

Hard and Rewarding hike.

Beautiful hike in beautiful weather. the trails are so well maintained it makes for a wonderful trip. We brought Yak Trax but didn't need them. There is still snow, but it's minimal and none is on the trail itself

TLDR: This is a very challenging day hike worthy of its reputation. With proper training and planning you too can check this one off your day hike bucket list.

So long as you can COMFORTABLY complete the prerequisite hikes like Baldy via Bear Canyon, Big Iron (San Gabriels) and San Gorgonio via Vivian Creek, then you'll be fine tackling the 10k feet of gain and somewhat long distance of C2C. If you are not comfortable with those hikes, then don't attempt this or you may be in trouble...

The real challenge of C2C is the heat. The climb starts in the desert so plan accordingly. That means monitor the weather forecast closely. Carry more water than you ever think you'll need. Keep your diet in check IE don't eat garbage or drink alcohol beforehand.

I've read that you need to run marathons or ultras to complete this trail. That's all BS. Sure ultra runners train on Skyline, but you don't need to be that hardcore to complete it. All you need to do is train with similar day hikes and BE SMART. Doing something stupid like not respecting the heat of the desert can literally get you killed.

1 month ago

Neat little hike if you're not into being too adventurous. Beautiful views that overlook the Coachella Valley. Great hike for kids that they can enjoy exploring!

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