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

Been there twice. If you take the Mission Creek Preserve entrance, you'll connect with the southern PCT trail intersection. Take the south fork and climb up the trail to a ridge on the trail that gives a view of Whitewater Canyon and the trail down the mountain towards the Whitewater River. The hike is close to 1000 ft elevation change. The view is spectacular. Take plenty of water as this is close to 8 miles from Mission Creek Preserve Road entrance. There is the stone house with picnic tables and even. Separate bathrooms. Along the way you'll see a massive growth of wild grapes in and around tall trees. Great views there as well. The rock formations are fascinating for the geologically inclined. Saw some rabbits, and heard lots of birds, but didn't see any other wild life (thank goodness no snakes!)

Pretty easy hike. Nice and flat.

Beautiful hike. We started at 7am and it got really hot. I bet March or April would be a better time to do this hike. Once we reached Whitewater River, we took our shoes off and cooled our feet down. The Ranger Station does not open until 8am, so you can not park in the parking lot by the Ranger's station. We were told by the ranger during fire season which might start next week, you are not allowed to park outside the gate on the shoulder. But since we hiked on 5/6/18, we were allowed to park on the shoulder. We are section hiking the PCT, so when we ended this hike, we applied for a permit. They will keep the permit on file, so when we hike our next section, we just have to call the Ranger Station and they will give us the combination to the gate so that we may again start our hike before they open.

hiking
3 months ago

Really appreciated the beautiful transitions this trail had to offer. The moment I pulled up to the gate (got there 20 minutes before opening) I could see Bighorn high on the cliff sides surrounding the parking/picnic area. Started along the Pacific Crest Trail then branched off towards Rainbow Rock Canyon.
Rock colors and striations were cool, but keep going....the best is yet to come. Dense green foliage and a nice multi tiered waterfall, complete with a ladder and ropes to get a full sense of immersion.
Great, easy/moderate hike.
You’ll need lots of bug repellent for the last half mile.

Beautiful hike, but very steep! Once you get to the canyon its not so bad.

Really great place to be,

Such an amazing place for hiking. A great family environment.

Bring bug spray because the closer you get to the waterfall the more bugs you encounter! There are trees to hang your hammock :) I would highly recommend this trail

Awesome morning hike, takes under 2 hours even with numerous stops and photos and you can bring your best 4 legged friend with you!

Lovely hike with great views once you reach the summit. If you begin at the ranger station you will soon encounter a climb with a series of switch backs. It's single file hiking for most of this trail. Heading down, it's rocky so watch your step. I brought a hiking pole to reduce the chance of slipping or losing my balance. I'm glad I did. I also agree with the moderate rating. Although there are areas I would consider "easy", the climbs both up and down definitely bump it up to a moderate hike in my opinion. Great trail for all ages, will hike it again.

First, let me disagree with the previous poster that thought the trail was not "Moderate", but was instead "Easy". Any trail that climbs upward for about 40 minutes and over 700 feet is not "Easy".

The trail started out (from the Ranger Station) mostly flat for about a half mile, then after we reached the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and headed south, it climbed up about 700 feet via a series of switchbacks. It took about 40 minutes to reach the top of a ridge line where the trail left the PCT and followed the ridge line for about a mile. Then we started back down to the bottom of Whitewater Canyon and looped back to where we started. The trail up was smooth and level – well-maintained. However, the trail down was a rough and rocky V-shaped trail created by runoff water. It didn’t look like they had spent much time maintaining this part of the trail, and it was slow going.

It provided great views and I would do it again; however, I would like to see some effort made to improve the trail leading down to the entrance road.

Excellent hike today

I personally would not consider this a 'moderate' trail...it was relatively easy (my 2 year old daughter did this trail without any issues, along with her 5 older brothers - ranging from 12 down to 4. A friend of mine also brought her daughter who was 3 and had no issues). This was beautiful. Fun! Lots to do, especially for the kids. The switch backs were entertaining...nothing huge but the mere fact at how short they were was pretty funny especially since my wife had never done a series of switch backs yet.

Overall - super cool trail. Saw a few animals, mainly wild cow.

This hike was incredible. The views are awesome. Easy hike but you can get your heart rate up on the switchbacks.

Good day hike. Lots of elevation with stunning views of mt San Jacinto and Coachella valley. Flowers are blooming early this year. Popular hike

Beautiful!

This is a fun, fairly challenging trail in a very pretty setting. Our group had three adults and five dogs (one was a 4.5 month old puppy who kept up like a champ) and, going at a very relaxed pace with several stops and detours for pictures and water breaks for the dogs, we were back at our car within 3 hours. Almost half of the trail is going up and then back down the mountain so be prepared for a steep hike with switchbacks. The majority of the trail is single-file narrow and exposed; I wouldn’t recommend this area during summer or on a hot day unless you really enjoy direct sunlight (bring LOTS of water if that’s the case). The river runs along the bottom of the mountain so there’s shade there but since the trail only crosses the actual river once, the shade’s pretty fleeting. We took a few detours to check the river out and it was flowing but seemed to be only about ankle- or calf-deep and easy enough to step or hop across at any point (we were there today, 1/13/18, just a couple of days after the area got some rain). Be careful when taking detours because parts of the trail along the river can be easy to lose due to other trails that split off but luckily the map on AllTrails was very helpful in finding our way back to this particular trail. The last almost-mile is on the road leading back to the trailhead. It’s not a busy road but there’s not a ton of room to move off of it when cars pass so be sure to keep kids and dogs close to you. The trailhead is beautiful with a rangers’ station, bathrooms, and several picnic tables. Even if you don’t want to do the trail, the trailhead is a nice place to relax and have lunch.

A couple of things to note; parking is pretty limited (but free) and there are no trash cans. According to signs and the ranger at the trailhead (who was super nice and helpful), there’s no parking allowed on the road leading up to the trail and the designated parking lot only has roughly 40-50 spaces so if it’s full, you can drive out and back until a spot opens up or you’ll be out of luck. We arrived at the trail around 1:30pm and were lucky enough to only have to drive around and back once but I’m not sure what the normal “wait time” might be on a busy day. As far as trash cans go, you’re expected to leave with whatever you came with so be sure to have a bag or two to carry your trash out and back home with you. Additionally, we saw a sign that said the trail closes at 5pm. I’m not sure if that’s all year long or just during winter so you might have to check if you plan on a late afternoon hike. Happy trails! :)

This is a beautiful hike! This time of year is perfect too because its not too hot. it was about 75 degrees with a good breeze. Its a moderate trail that gains about 700 feet in altitude. The trails are easy to follow as well. Bring your camera!

There are picnic areas and I believe camping is allowed as well. The park is very nice as well! The ponds are very cool!! Don't miss out on this neat l little oasis!!

Great hike. Not that moderate due to steady elevation gain. Trail is getting narrower and can be camouflaged. Also crossing tiny creek often when approaching waterfall which recommending use waterproof boots.
Waterfall still flows as Jan 6, 2018 after 6+ months of no rain in desert. Amazing!

Amazing great Part of the Pacific crest trail..

This is a oneway car shuttle from the Whitewater ranger station to the Cottonwood Trailhead parking spot. It traverses the areas mountains. It is mostly on the PCT. I would have liked to upload a similar track to my device before this hike, but couldn't. This one would work for all trails consumers. I could upload a few pictures later if the trail appears on all trails in the near future. The trail is presently run by the Wetlands Conservancy. It's a little "ledgy" in a few spots, but in general it's well maintained. The low desert part is somewhat attractive, and has close up views of windmills.

hiking
9 months ago

Pretty boring unless you are looking for creosote bushes. If you like to photograph the surrounding area, you need to get creative to avoid having power lines and telephone poles in your picture. The views of the distant mountains and hills are nice, but as trails go, there are much better options close by.

Beautiful place.

Nice views. Part of loop was closed. Definitely will go back. Saw a bighorn sheep!

Fun trail, tried it in 2wd no way! Must have 4 wheel drive to make this trail. Views are amazing and it's a fun little trail.

Great hike will definitely go back to explore more

Tons of different trails. Ended up walking about 6 miles up the river. Bring some hiking boots, lots of water, and flip flops. Hike to the North a little ways and have the river to yourself. It was moving pretty quick when I went in August of 2017.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Great place to enjoy the water

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Love it.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

the best place so far!

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