5 Favorite Palm Desert Hikes

There are hundreds of options for hiking in Palm Desert and the surrounding area. Palm Desert hikes take you to the top of mountain peaks, through narrow canyons, and along desert terrain. The diverse landscape offers something for every skill level, and hikes range greatly in length making it easy to spend a couple hours to several days in the great outdoors.

We’ve compiled our list of favorite hikes in the area, which are all a great way to spend an afternoon before settling in for a nice dinner near your Palm Desert vacation rental.

Castle Rock Trail

San Bernardino National Forest
View of the valley of the San Bernardino National Forest.

Located in the San Bernadino National Forest, Castle Rock Trail is a moderate 2.6-mile out-and-back trail that offers stunning views of Big Bear Lake. The hike features a 833-foot gain in elevation and some rocky terrain.

Ryan Mountain Trail

Joshua Tree National Park
Boulders and Joshua Trees in Joshua Tree National Park, California.

Ryan Mountain Trail is a 3-mile out-and-back trail in Joshua Tree National Park. The hike features a 1,069-foot elevation gain and sprawling 360-degree views of the valley below from the top. Explore intricate rock formations, Joshua trees, and other cacti along the way.

Ladder Canyon Trail

Ladder Canyon Trail is located in the Mecca Hills Wilderness, offering a truly unique outdoor experience. Weave through narrow canyon walls and traverse up ladders along the 4.5-mile loop trail. It features a waterfall and gains about 970 feet in elevation.

Canyon View Loop Trail

A natural preserve of natural resources at Whitewater Preserve, California

Located in the Whitewater Preserve, Canyon View Loop Trail is a 3.6-mile loop that features a river and is moderately challenging. This dog-friendly hike is accessible year-round and gains about 625 feet in elevation. It’s a great spot to view wildflowers.

McCallum Trail

Great for families, the McCallum Trail passes through Thousand Palms Oasis and is a 2-mile out-and-back trail. The easy trail gains just about 90 feet in elevation and features towering palms and a pond feature.

There are hundreds of great hikes throughout the Palm Desert area and Coachella Valley for all experience levels. If you’re planning an adventure in the Coachella Valley, book a Palm Desert vacation rental with us. We have private studios, villas, and condos.

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