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11 Palm Springs Hikes To Go On Now
Health & Fitness

11 Palm Springs Hikes To Go On Now

Looking for the best Palm Springs hikes? Whether you want to go on a stroll or work out, there's a Palm Springs hiking trail for you.

Roubina Al Abashian

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5 min read

January 17, 2022

Palm Springs has it all; serenity, scenery, and endless fun, and we can’t think of a better way to explore the desert city than on foot. Countless hiking trails crisscross all types of terrain, making every hike unique. Outdoor enthusiasts can have an itinerary full of great hikes and choose from crooked canyons surrounded by gorgeous rock formations to sandy trails dotted with cacti to lush palm tree oases opening up to waterfalls. And here’s a tip: the higher you go during your Palm Springs hikes, the better the views, so choose wisely.

The Best Of Palm Springs' Hiking Trails

Life is better in hiking boots. Take only memories, leave only footprints, with the sky above, earth below, and peace within.

1. Andreas Canyon Trail

Location: Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument
Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 1 mile
Time: 40 minutes
Route: Loop
Dogs allowed: No

If you’re wondering what fun family activities to plan in Palm Springs this weekend, hike the Andreas Canyon Trail—the one-mile trail is short, easy, and kid-friendly. The rocky path is filled with beautiful wildflowers and boasts gorgeous views, which is why it’s our favorite Palm Springs hiking trail

2. Araby Trail

Location: Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument
Hours: 24 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 4.1 mile
Time: 2–3 hours
Route: Out and back
Dogs allowed: No

The Araby Trail in Palm Springs starts in a residential area, fooling hikers into thinking that they won’t be treated to gorgeous views. As you gradually advance, views of the valley emerge, and the hike becomes more exciting and challenging. You’ll encounter a lot of horseback riders and bird watchers on this awesome Palm Springs trail.

Not all those who wander are lost. You'll come to realize that some of the best memories are made in hiking shoes.

3. San Jacinto Peak from the Tramway

Location: Mount San Jacinto State Park
Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 10.5 miles
Time: 6 hours
Route: Out and back
Dogs allowed: No

Most beginners would avoid hiking the San Jacinto Peak from the Tramway Trail, but for the pros, this is the challenge they’ve been waiting for. The 10.5-mile hike is accessed through the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and passes through lush forests and a river. 

4. Tahquitz Canyon Loop Trail

Location: Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument
Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 1.9 miles
Time: 1 hour
Route: Loop
Dogs allowed: No

The Tahquitz Canyon Loop Trail is one of the best hikes in Palm Springs. You don’t really need to have prior experience to tackle the trail; all you need to do is manage to walk around the rocks and climb up the wide steps. Your efforts will pay off when you reach the gorgeous Tahquitz Falls—it’s a sight to see.   

A flat trail never made a skilled hiker. Fall down seven times and stand up eight. Live your life by a compass, not a clock.

5. Skyline Trail: Cactus to Clouds

Location: Mount San Jacinto State Park
Hours: 24 hours
Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 21.2 miles
Time: 13–16 hours
Route: Point to point
Dogs allowed: No

The Cactus to Clouds Trail is one of the most difficult hikes in the United States. Gaining almost 10,600 feet from the desert to the summit, this trail is not for the faint-hearted. If you’re brave enough, make sure to bring your tent along—you’re going to spend a few good days hiking, camping, and enjoying the views along this awesome hiking trail.

6. Murray Canyon Trail to Seven Falls

Location: Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument
Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 3.7 miles
Time: 2 hours
Route: Out and back
Dogs allowed: No

One of the most exciting things to do in Palm Springs is hiking in Murray Canyon. The Murray Canyon Trail in Palm Springs is primarily sandy with a few stretches of rocky hardpack with a pleasant surprise at the end. The hike is also used by equestrians, so you’ll encounter people on horseback admiring the wildlife. Make sure you hike all the way to the top—the Seven Sisters Falls is one of Palm Springs’ best-kept secrets.  

The best view comes after the hardest climb. Each fresh peak ascended teaches you an important lesson.

7. Museum Trail

Location: Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument
Hours: 24 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 1.6 miles 
Time: 1–2 hours
Route: Loop
Dogs allowed: No

Who said you have to drop your morning workouts on vacation? Hiking near Palm Springs is always a great way to get your body moving, especially if you pick the Museum Trail. The short trail is your cardio, and you’ll find pull-up bars and dumbbells for weight training at the end of your hike—that is of course if you can still handle it. 

8. South Lykken Trail

Location: Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument
Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 8.8 miles
Time: 5 hours
Route: Out and back
Dogs allowed: No

Gorgeous views of the Greater Palm Springs appear with every step you take on the South Lykken Trail. This is known as one of Southern California’s coolest hikes thanks to the exceptionally beautiful wildlife. To better enjoy one of the best hikes near Palm Springs, have an early start, lather on mineral-based sunscreen, and bring lots of water—there’s not much shade along the trail.  

9. Desert View Trail

Location: Mount San Jacinto State Park
Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 1.5 mile
Time: 1 hour
Route: Loop
Dogs allowed: No

If you think you’re going to get better desert views on any other hike than the Desert View Trail, think again. As one of the best free things to do in Palm Springs, hiking this trail is the perfect way to enjoy the desert without sweating too much. We honestly can’t think of a cuter outdoor date to plan with your boo.

Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.

10. Victor Loop

Location: Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Reservation
Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 2.7 miles
Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Route: Loop
Dogs allowed: No

Care to hike to one of the biggest palm oases in the U.S.? Take the Victor Loop and move clockwise until you make it to the gorgeous Palm Canyon, where you’ll encounter paradise in the desert. This Palm Springs hiking trail is also one of the coolest Instagram spots in California, so make sure to bring your camera along.

11. Indian Canyon West Fork Trail

Location: Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Reservation
Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Difficulty: Hard
Distance: 5.4 miles
Time: 3 hours
Route: Out and back
Dogs allowed: No

Your desert getaway won’t be complete without hiking the Indian Canyon West Fork Trail. You don’t need to be an advanced hiker to complete this trail, but keep in mind that it’s pretty steep, so you’d better be ready. 

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