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.

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Completed Cactus to Clouds.. Beautiful views and sunrise, also super intense elevation gain and temperature change. Bring layers for the top, there was already snow on the ground. First 8,000 feet climb on Skyline was unbelievably difficult. Next 6 to the top peak was all about keeping going. I would recommend eating every few thousand feet at least, we did every 4,000, with water hydration backpacks for water throughout, and trekking poles are a must. Took us 11.5 hours from the bottom to the top back down to the tram. Brought 1 gallon of water, 1 liter of Gatorade, 2 cookies, trail mix and 2 sandwiches, for each of us, was perfect amount. Have fun! Enjoy the views and the success of summiting!

killer hike. GPS map of trail and trekking poles were a game changer.

Three of us started the hike Oct 19,2018 at 1am. Weather was great, saw lots of other hikers. It was up, up, up all the way! Over 8,000 feet elevation. Recently did Rim to Rim and down n out in the Grand Canyon and this hike was comparable maybe even harder. We originally planned to do the summit, another 11 miles but were beat by the time we got to the tram. You definitely need to be in shape for this one! Bring lots of liquids and a good pair of hiking shoes!

Great hike! Did it to the ranger station as a training hike for GC r2r2r. The first couple and last couple miles are tough and easy to lose the trail....especially the last couple. Started at 4:47 am....finished 10:39 am. Would come to do the full Cactus to Cloud. Wouldn't hike back down. Much easier too lose the trail and risk injury going down!

hiking
7 days ago

Was a great hike for the morning before starting your day. I took my husky, Duke, and it wasn’t too long or too short. Pretty good elevation gains also.

A mile from round valley 600 ft gain. Worth it for the view. Usually a breeze. Nice stop on the way to peak. Enjoy

8 days ago

Pretty sure the north trail head is gone. We had much trouble finding it. We ended up hiking from the south. Had to scramble down a few very tight sections. Probably need some local insight into why the trail head is gone.

love it

I did this trail on October 12th which seemed like the ideal time of year to tackle this hike. The average high in Palm Springs is 91 in October, but it doesn’t get that hot until around noon, and since you’ll be climbing, you never really have to worry about the heat.

I got off to a later start than I had originally planned and left the trailhead at 6:45am, right at sunrise. No headlamp hiking for me. And honestly, it was so much better than hiking in the dark. Even with the white dots lining the trail to the picnic tables, I still made a couple of wrong turns and used my Garmin GPS to get back on track. And then, after the picnic tables, the white dots pretty much disappear. There are a lot of tangents and spur trails that can easily take you off course if you aren’t paying attention to a GPS unit. I can’t imagine how much longer the hike would take in the dark. Also, the best thing about hiking in daylight are the views. When the sun is rising over the Coachella Valley, it’s a gorgeous sight to behold.

It took me 6 hours to get to Long Valley, and like everybody says, the last 2 miles up are brutal. When you combine the steepness of the trail with the fact that you’re now at elevations of 6,000 to 8,000 feet, the exhaustion really affects you. My legs felt heavy, and I felt like my entire body was moving in slow motion. When you finally reach Long Valley, it’s a huge relief, not only because the worst part of the hike is over, but also because you know you won’t die. The throngs of day hikers and school children on field trips are actually a welcome sight.

That said, you still have another 11 miles to hike. My biggest mistake was not refilling my water at the ranger station. By the time I had finished my lunch at Long Valley, I had 2 liters left and figured that would be enough to finish the hike. But even though the last 5.5 miles to the summit aren’t steep at all—at least compared to the 9 miles you’ve already done—the elevation and the exhaustion really take over. I was really dragging on those last few miles to the top—I could tell because the day hikers who saw me were like, “Almost there, dude. Keep going.” By the time I reached the summit, my 2 liters of water were almost gone. I feel like another liter or two would have helped out enormously.

But the euphoria of reaching the summit gave me the shot of adrenaline I needed to finish the hike. It’s an amazing 360 degree view. And because it was late in the day, I had it all to myself. The views on the entire trail are great, but the summit really is the cherry on top, and it makes the entire 10,500 foot climb worth it.

The remaining 5.5 miles back to the tram will take a couple of hours, but it’s on a very nice downhill grade—you won’t be killing your feet or your knees. Because it’s an official park trail that is heavily trafficked and well-defined, it is very easy to follow. Honestly, I would save the night hiking for the evening hours when you’re coming down the mountain because the San Jacinto Park trails are much easier to follow than the Skyline Trail—just be mindful that the final tram ride down the mountain is at 9:45pm (non-summer hours). Upon your arrival at the tram station, treat yourself to a beer... or two... or three... or four at the bar on the third floor. You’ve earned it.

A nice hike. Saw no one else on this trail; very quiet. Start off on the Palm Canyon trail and branch off at the trail sign about 1/4 mile or so from the trading post. Note that you need to pay a $9 per adult fee to enter this general area (Indian Canyons) as you are on Agua Caliente Indian lands. Entry area open from 8 AM to 5 PM (last vehicle allowed in at 4 PM. Website is indian-canyons.com

hiking
12 days ago

Very solid loop trail. Because of the Notches/desert view points, it's probably a 4.5 hike. Also the Tram itself is awesome (an amazing ride).
Need to stop at the ranger station for a permit (free), even for day hikers.
A little rocky, but there are worse rocky situations. No bouldering.
See all the views at the Mountain/Tram Station itself (Grubbs view point is probably the best of all "notches/camera spots").
Good selection of beers at the Tram Station.

12 days ago

Great scenic views of the city and desert terrain. Not too perfect for a hike or a Harder trail run.

This trail is gorgeous. It’s best to go early in the morning as the surrounding mountains provide tons of shade. We went in October so there was no water, but even without it, it’s a beautiful trail. If it’s your first time there, bring the trail guide map. It helps point out specific historical points along your hike, which was really cool!

The water fall only has water when snow starts to melt.

Take giuded tour....included in addmition. you will learn a great deal about the area and native peoples.

This is known as the shortcut to the cactus to clouds but it’s still pretty intense. I loved the scenery on this hike. I did this one about a month ago (early September) and it was about 100 degrees in Palm Springs but it’s about 30 degrees cooler at the top of the tram in the park so pack accordingly. I tried to get a ticket for the tram on the website but they were out so I just showed up 30 mins before the first tram at 8am and was able to get a ticket no problem. The hike is pretty easy to follow and shaded most of the way so it helps. The last 10th of a mile requires some scrambling but nothing too crazy.

Overall a good experience.

We started at the museum and ran into a couple of people coming back down. One said that if we chose the left fork just a little ahead, it was an easier ascent, so we did. Unfortunately, the blazes petered out, and we ended up following what looked like a trail but clearly wasn't. Got badly lost and finally made our way down the side into someone's driveway. The views were great, though, and I'd love to try it again when it's cooler.

Great easy trail full of historical information!

hiking
1 month ago

This is NOT PRIVATE PROPERTY....Its has been battle through court and they lost.

Awesome. Definitely not a hike if you’re looking for solitude, but beautiful and not too strenuous. Nice views from the peak.

I’ve done this hike to the peak of Mt San Jac three times. I always enjoy it. Great views. Bring at least 3 liters of water and food to keep your engine running. At altitude above 6,000 feet, I typically drink about a cup of water every 45 minutes. I got altitude sickness on the Mt. Whitney trail once...This hydration schedule has worked for me!

love it. beautiful view. cool weather.

#5 of our six pack. Perfect weather. Beautiful hike. Distance 12 miles Elevation 3110. Departed from the tram at 9:30. Peaked at 2:00. Back at the tram by 7. Took Hiking guy's advice and left our backpacks by the hut to make it easier to scramble up the rocks at the peak. Incredible views - contrasting desert vs forested mountains. Got off trail on the way back which added an extra mile. Thank goodness for Alltrails!

We saw 5 squirrels on this hike! 10/10 would definitely recommend!

Great hike! Very long and tiring

hiking
1 month ago

Good path ... easy to follow ... just watch for the left turn onto path about 200 yds in from the parking spot. Did this hike early this morning ... started at 7am to avoid the heat of the day. Great views down across Palm Springs as you wind up the path.

Did this trail at 06:00 and it was stunning. As we turned around to come down I got an amazing photo of the sun rising to greet us.

hiking
2 months ago

This trail offers beautiful views. This trail is a nice place to hangout. I went during what I think was spring break and there were several families with young children on the trail. It was also the mid-morning in April. The heat was not too bad but as with any desert hiking come well prepared with plenty of water. Shade on the trail was limited. The area around the waterfall is the greatest exception to this. It is accurately marked easy. The natural beauty of the area is the most compelling motivation to visit this trail.

Breath taking view but not for the weak

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