Palm Springs

Hikes in Palm Springs

Region in California, United States

Palm Springs hikes are a spectacular pastime, even if it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the sizzling desert oasis that is Palm Springs. It tends to be more of a golf and sit-by-the-pool destination, but whenever your feet grow restless, you’ll find a network of trails worth exploring. Some cut through mountainscapes and others take you deep into a palm tree wonderland, but one thing is certain, setting out on any number of incredible Palm Springs Hikes will be sure to leave a lasting impression on you and your companions!

Some of the best regions to go hiking around Palm Springs are Agua Caliente Indian Reservation, which boasts the incredible Tahquitz Canyon. There’s also the Aerial Tramway area, which includes one of the toughest adventures in the USA—Skyline Trail: Cactus to Clouds. Discover more amazing Palm Springs hikes below!

10 Amazing Hiking Routes in Palm Springs

Looking for amazing hikes in Palm Springs? We’ve got you covered. The hikes below detail our favorite walking adventures, all replete with stunning scenery, whether you’re chasing after mountain views or desert imagery.

  1. Tahquitz Canyon Loop Trail - Tahquitz Canyon Loop Trail packs a punch for a short hike. Bring the kids along and explore a trail flanked by boulders before surmounting to a valley view at the highest point. You’ll also pass a waterfall! Note that the waterfall dries in the summer months, so you have a better chance of catching it at its actual velocity come winter.
  2. Tahquitz Peak via Devil’s Slide Trail - Looking for a challenging half-day excursion? Tahquitz Peak via Devil’s Slide Trail will fulfill your need! Enjoy a trail lined with trees as you wind to the top, where the Tahquitz Peak Fire Lookout awaits. Bask in the layers of mountain peaks before turning around and heading back the way you came. You can bring your dog along on this adventure!
  3. Palm Canyon Trail - The Palm Canyon Trail is a fantastic hiking adventure for the entire family! Let your imagination run wild as you explore a palm tree wonderland set against a dry desert backdrop. It’s hard not to love this short, rewarding excursion.
  4. Skyline Trail: Cactus to Clouds - The Skyline Trail: Cactus to Clouds sits atop experienced hikers’ bucket lists across the United States. You can’t complete this insane hike without training for it first! At the top, you can relax knowing you can skip walking down what you just walked up and take the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway instead.
  5. Murray Canyon Trail to Seven Falls - The Murray Canyon Trail to Seven Falls is a kid-friendly, easy-going trail that boasts a highlight reel of scenery: boulders, a 20-foot waterfall, and a hilly background. Enjoy the palm trees bordering the path, too! If you want to catch the water flowing, it’s best to tackle this hike in winter or spring.
  6. Garstin Loop Trail - The Garstin Loop Trail is a Palm Springs gem! If you’re looking for a workout paired with outstanding scenery, the Garstin Loop Trail doesn’t fail to provide one. Revel in the views of Palm Springs sprawled across the valley below.
  7. Fern Canyon Trail - Dedicate a couple of hours to exploring the stunning sandy wash along the Fern Canyon Trail. The entire trail brims with beauty punctuated by cacti lining the path, but the real beauty comes when you reach the canyon decorated with palms and ferns. This track is a Palm Springs gem!
  8. Victor Loop Trail - Victor Loop Trail unveils a highlight reel of Palm Springs in one remarkable adventure! Encounter a palm tree wonderland, a mountain background, and a sprawling valley below. This is an excellent hike to try with kids—just be sure to brush up on rattlesnake safety before you go.
  9. Araby Trail - Explore the desert and fit a decent workout in? Araby Trail knows how to simultaneously elevate heart rates through its enchanting scenery and intense incline. Walk by cacti, exciting rock formations, and mountain scenery as you make your way to the sweeping Palm Springs view.
  10. South Lykken Trail - Looking for a long, challenging hike in Palm Springs? The South Lykken Trail is a taxing but rewarding adventure that keeps you entertained, thanks to possible bighorn sheep glimpses. Don’t expect shade, though—bring water, sunscreen, a hat, and snacks!

When is the Best Time to Hike in Palm Springs?

The best time to hike in Palm Springs is between October to March when the sizzling desert heat fizzles to a reasonable adventure temperature; however, it is possible to hike in the summer. Just aim to head out early to beat the exhausting afternoon heat when exploring any of the above mentioned Palm Springs hikes.

Other Outdoor Activities in Palm Springs

While Palm Springs hikes are certainly popular, golf is the activity that likely sits at the top of the list for many outdoor enthusiasts in Palm Springs. Conversely, ATVing along the miles of open desert plains can be quite the thrilling antithesis of golf. Of course, there’s also mountain biking—several hiking trails serve as mountain bike and horse riding routes!

Fantastic Adventure Tours near Palm Springs

While we do not currently offer any adventure tours in Palm Springs, there are plenty of other amazing tours to be experienced throughout the state of California. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of planning your next trip, be sure to check out our collection of California Tours and leave the planning to the professionals!

Frequently Asked Questions About Palm Springs

Why is Palm Springs so popular?

People flock to Palm Springs for its sun, golf, and overall resort-town feel.

What is the rainiest month in Palm Springs?

You can expect the most rain in Palm Springs in February. But it doesn’t even rain a lot! Expect around 1.5 inches of precipitation.

Do you need a car in Palm Springs?

While a car grants ultimate roaming freedom, having a car in Palm Springs is optional. You’ll find that several hikes start close enough to town, too. However, a car is always a good bet if you want to venture.

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Best Hikes in Palm Springs

Open details for Tahquitz Peak via Devil’s Slide Trail

Tahquitz Peak via Devil’s Slide Trail

Hard
13.0 km
724 m
4.5-6h

The Tahquitz Peak via Devil’s Slide Trail immerses you in California’s rustic backyard, taking you to the incredible Tahquitz Peak Fire Lookout and unveiling a scenic outlook of layers of mountains blending with the horizon. And the trail winding to the top, flanked by trees blocking out the rest of the world, will pump you much-needed fresh air. So pack some snacks and water, bring your dog, and enjoy a moderately challenging half-day adventure in the wild!

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Open details for Palm Canyon Trail

Palm Canyon Trail

Easy
3.2 km
90 m
1h

Bring your kids, a picnic, and prepare for an inspiring adventure through a palm tree oasis on the Palm Canyon Trail. This out-and-back adventure fuses tropical vibes with a rustic experience, creating the ultimate short but rewarding excursion for all ages. Unfortunately, while you can bring your kids, you’ll have to leave your pup at home!

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Open details for Skyline Trail: Cactus to Clouds

Skyline Trail: Cactus to Clouds

Very Hard
34.1 km
3,281 m
15-21h

The Skyline Trail: Cactus to Clouds ranks as one of the most strenuous hikes in the world! Yep—this hike will challenge you both mentally and physically. Therefore, training before attempting this crazy, rewarding adventure is essential. Luckily, once you've reached the peak, you can rest your legs and take the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway down the mountain.

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Open details for Jane’s Hoffbrau Oasis Trail

Jane’s Hoffbrau Oasis Trail

Moderate
5.3 km
255 m
1.5-2.5h

Jane's Hoffbrau Oasis Trail is a moderate hike that winds along a dirt road to an obstructed view of Palm Springs sweeping the valley below, followed by a canyon and Jane’s Hoffbrau Oasis, where another lovely lookout awaits. Bring your dog and family, and enjoy a morning (recommended) in nature!

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Open details for Murray Canyon Trail to Seven Falls

Murray Canyon Trail to Seven Falls

Moderate
6.0 km
183 m
1.5-2h

The Murray Canyon Trail to Seven Falls winds through lush green palm trees flanking the trail, punctuated by a hilly backdrop, boulders, and a 6 m waterfall. It’s best to take on this hike in spring and winter when there’s still water in the waterfall at the end! The Murray Canyon Trail to Seven Falls is a kid-friendly adventure.

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Open details for Araby Trail

Araby Trail

Moderate
6.6 km
428 m
2.5-3.5h

Araby Trail travels by cacti, mountain views, and fun rock formations to a gorgeous view of Palm Springs sweeping the valley below. This is a moderate hike that isn’t for the faint of heart! It pushes you to gain a decent amount of elevation in a short period, making it essential to pack a lot of water. One other thing to note is that dogs are allowed on a section of this trail. You’ll see a sign signalling when to turn around if you brought your furry friend. Be careful because there are reptiles along this trail.

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Open details for Skyline Trail to Aerial Tramway Top Station

Skyline Trail to Aerial Tramway Top Station

Very Hard
15.1 km
2,498 m
9.5-13.5h

The Skyline Trail to Aerial Tramway Top Station is an extremely strenuous, technical hiking adventure in Palm Springs, California. Expect insane elevation gains and some route-finding—this trail is tailor-made for experienced hikers seeking a challenge. It’s not for the faint of heart! The best part is that you can take the tram down the mountain at the end (for a fee).

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Open details for Palm Springs Museum and North Lykken Trail

Palm Springs Museum and North Lykken Trail

Hard
6.9 km
532 m
2.5-4h

Looking for a quick leg burn? Lace up your hiking boots and set foot on the incredible Palm Springs Museum and North Lykken Trail that elevates your heart rate and winds to unreal views of the valley sprawled below. Aim to go early in the morning to beat the afternoon heat!

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Open details for South Lykken Trail

South Lykken Trail

Hard
14.2 km
676 m
4.5-6h

The South Lykken Trail is a punishing but rewarding hike that never fails to impress. The scenery en route, punctuated with possible bighorn sheep sightings, adds to the wonderment of this adventure! Expect some switchbacks, great views, and no shade. Bring lots of water and snacks (and sunscreen).

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Open details for Tramway Road to Bottom Station Trail

Tramway Road to Bottom Station Trail

Moderate
12.1 km
578 m
3.5-5h

The Tramway Road to Bottom Station Trail is a local favorite! The unraveling scenery fused with the workout it provides and dog-friendliness only add to its popularity. It’s a good idea to set out early as the heat can be unbearable later in the day, especially during the summer, late spring, and early autumn.

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