Home ]





Top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
The 11.5 mile round trip to the top of Mount San Jacinto is for experienced hikers. Easier Desert View Loop Trail has little elevation gain and great views. The Valley Station is located in north Palm Springs. From Highway 111 turn up Tramway Road and proceed 3.5 miles to the station. Be prepared for 40-degree temperature change from the Valley floor. Tram Information: 325-1391

The Museum Trail
Moderately difficult 2-mile round trip hike that starts at the far corner of the north parking lot for the Palm Springs Desert Museum off Museum Drive and Tahquitz Canyon Way. This trail intersects with the North Lykken Trail. Picnic tables and spectacular views.

North Lykken Trail
Starts at the west end of Ramon Road. The entire North Lykken Trail is 5.5 miles one-way. It is 2 miles to the intersection with the Museum Trail. At the beginning of the trail, the left fork seems easier to follow, the right fork meanders around and it is possible to get confused but it does have more views of the city. 

South Lykken Trail
There is a trailhead on both north and south ends. The north end starts at the parking lot at the west end of Mesquite Road and South Palm Canyon Drive. (near car dealership)  The south end is on South Palm Canyon Drive just past the intersection of Murray Canyon Drive and South Palm Canyon Drive. Follow the dike to the trailhead. About 25 minutes up the South end will bring you to the Simonetta Kennett Vista Point. Picnic tables. Great hike at sunrise.

Tahquitz Canyon
The new visitor center is at the west end of Mesquite, off South Palm Canyon Drive.  Hike to the spectacular 60-foot waterfall. Hikers need to be in reasonably good shape.   The guided tour with a ranger takes about 2 hours and is well worth the fee.  Reservations required.  Information: 416-7044.   

Excerpts from Peaks, Palms and Picnics: Day Journeys in the Mountains & Deserts of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley  ISBN 0-916251-57-8 ęCopyright 1999, 2002 by Linda McMillin Pyle All rights reserved Sunbelt Publications 1-800-626-6579

Murray Canyon and Andreas Canyon Trails
The Murray Canyon hike to the 7 sisters waterfalls is 4 miles round trip with a 300-foot elevation gain. If you have a few hours and have time for only one hike this is it! The Indian Canyons are 3 miles south on S. Palm Canyon Drive from the intersection with E. Palm Canyon Dr. Enter Aqua Caliente Reservation through toll gate and follow sign to the right for Andreas/Murray Canyon. Picnic tables and shaded palapa near parking area.
The Andreas Canyon hike is an easy 1 mile round trip-fun for kids. 

Palm Canyon Trail
Follow the above directions to the toll gate and proceed straight ahead to the Trading
Post parking area. This trail is 15 miles one-way but it is an easy descent to the fanpalm oasis. There are many other shorter trail options here. Maps are available at the Trading Post.     

Garstin, Berns and Araby Trails
Follow Palm Canyon Drive South past Murray Canyon Drive and turn left on Bogart Trail. The trailhead is near the east end of the Bogart Bridge. These 3 trails connect. The Garstin Trail is 1.5 miles. The Berns Trail is 1 mile and the 1.6-mile long Araby Trail drops down to Highway 111 at the entrance to the Rim Crest and Southridge development. This hike may be done out and back or one-way with a shuttle.

     Thousand Palms/Coachella Valley Preserve
From Palm Springs take Ramon Road east to Thousand Palms Road. Go north and watch for 
     signs to the Preserve on left. One of my favorite hikes is to the McCallum Grove.

Hiking author, Linda McMillin Pyle, is happy to share her favorite desert trails with you. For more than 20 years she has been hiking the mountains and deserts of southern California. For more desert trails check her website www.trailwisdom.com

 Peaks, Palms and Picnics: Day Journeys in the Mountains & Deserts of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley ęCopyright 1999, 2002 by Linda McMillin Pyle
All rights reserved Sunbelt Publications 1-800-626-6579

Peaks, Palms & Picnics is available at the following Palm Springs locations:
Mosaic 155 South Palm Canyon Drive   322-3485 
Palm Springs Desert Museum Store 101 Museum Dr.  325-0189 
Aqua Caliente Cultural Museum 219 S. Palm Canyon Drive    323-1051
Mount San Jacinto Natural History Shop   325-1391
Celebritybooks.com  182 North Palm Canyon Drive    320-6575 
Palm Springs Visitors Center 2781 North Palm Canyon Drive   778-8418
Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism 777 North Palm Canyon Drive   778-8415