Hike and Bike

Exercise Your Head, Heart & Soul

Even though the Palm Springs skies are virtually cloud-free, our city is full of silver linings. We were cooped up indoors for far too long, but Mother Nature flexed her grandeur, and she set up a permanent residence in our beautiful hometown. As we emerge from our shelters, Palm Springs warms up a perfect agenda. Spread your wings, stretch your legs, and strut your proverbial stuff on a hike to remember.

Expand your horizons

Be honest: you’re tired of staring at the same four walls. We hear you… and we’re here FOR you. To raise your perspective, think big! Nothing is bigger than the uplifting experience of the aptly named “Cactus to Clouds” hike. With a trailhead conveniently tucked behind the Palm Springs Art Museum, Cactus to Clouds features one of the most pronounced elevation shifts of any American hiking path. It ascends over 10,000 feet from the base to the San Jacinto peak. Leave your cares miles below the summit as you marvel at the majestic views of Coachella Valley.

hiking palm springs

To get some southern exposure, consider the less rigorous splendor of Araby Trail. After trekking just four miles, you can turn back and gaze at Palm Springs from above, artfully framed by our iconic windmills in the distance. Nearby is an even breezier route: Earl Henderson Trail. Immerse yourself in wildflowers along the less-than-three-mile jaunt, and feel free to bring Fido! Dogs love hiking almost as much as we love dogs.

cactus to clouds

Fall for our falls

Speaking of love, take your special someone on a hike to the Tahquitz Canyon waterfall. Romance flows freely over the 60-foot cascade, so snap a selfie that look nothing like your last 4,000 Zoom calls. Tahquitz features an irrigation system that dates back thousands of years. The Canyon also doubles as an epic outdoor gallery, including rock wall art commemorating the culture of the Agua Caliente tribe. Their proud legacy embraces the landscape and ripples from the past to the vibrant here-and-now.

tahquitz canyon waterfall

For more H2OMG views, take in the Seven Sisters Falls. Chart a course for the Indian Canyons Golf Resort to find the nearby Murray Canyon trailhead. Hike leisurely for less than four miles and a mere 600-foot gradation to arrive at the Seven Sisters network of waterfalls. The flow is seasonal, but the contours of the hike are transcendent year-round.

Shed the shelter weight

If you gained a few extra inches during the past two months, join the club! But you don’t need to take those pounds sitting down, so lace up and get outta town. Head due south from Highway 111 and discover Palm Canyon Trail, the gateway to a forested wonderland. The lengthy excursion requires effort, but provides a considerable payoff: the largest palm oasis on the continent.

For experienced hikers looking for an additional challenge, consider the vistas of Clara Burgess Trail. It is a seven-mile sojourn that leads southeast from town, immersing visitors in the rolling slopes of Murray Hill. The scenery is a playful mix of rugged terrain and delicate wildflowers, a perfect metaphor for the elegance and fortitude of Palm Springs.

hiking

Step Up in Downtown

You don’t need to be a mountaineer to enjoy a heightened perspective. Sometimes, the best views are as accessible as the pleasant expanse of our spacious downtown. The wide streets allow window-shopping without crowding, so you can stroll at your own pace. Look up to the mountains you just conquered on your day hike, or look down to peruse the Walk of Stars along the pavement.

Palm Springs is a red carpet of rich history. Presidents and playboys have mingled in our midst throughout the decades, cavorting with such pop-culture luminaries as Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and Bob Hope. To hike in their esteemed footsteps, book a walking tour with the Palm Springs Historical Society. A knowledgeable guide will usher you from the present tense to a leisurely exploration of the past. Get blue-eyed with envy as you slip into Frank Sinatra’s shoes. Excavate the golden age of Hollywood alongside celebrities like Liz Taylor. Or skip the hike and hop on a bike to roll through town like the royalty you are.

Whether you prefer the urban sightseeing of our main drag, the light aerobics of a stroll up Tahquitz Canyon, or the adrenaline rush of eclipsing San Jacinto Mountain, Palm Springs is your ultimate hiking destination. Get your head in the clouds and plant your feet firmly on our triumphant soil. Happy trails!

woman on bike

By Kevin Perry

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