5 Days, 5 Hikes

Got a few free hours? Try these walks on the wild side

Andreas Canyon

Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism

Blessed with idyllic weather and diverse topography, Palm Springs is an outdoor playland. If you have only a few hours to hike, here are some local trails — ranging from easy to moderate — that satisfy your wanderlust and leave you time and energy to partake in the rest of paradise. Visit www.palmspringslife.com for additional hiking information.

1. Andreas Canyon
length: 2 miles
elevation gain: 50 feet
time: 1-2 hours
difficulty: Easy

Trailhead: Andreas Canyon, first right once you enter the gate into the Indian Canyons, located at the end of South Palm Canyon Drive.  

Description: Perfect for families, this leisurely hike meanders along a quiet stream sheltered by California fan palms. The well-marked path grazes sheer rock walls then opens up to a wide desert landscape. Watch for a seasonal waterfall and an old clubhouse once used by local hunters. Admission charge. 

2. Tahquitz Canyon
length: 3.5 miles
elevation gain: 300 feet
time: 2-3 hours
difficulty: Easy

Trailhead: Check in at Tahquitz Visitor Center located at the end of Mesquite Avenue.

Description: A guided hike of lower Tahquitz Canyon leading to a stunning 60-foot waterfall. From downtown, one can see the mouth of this magnificent canyon. The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians manages the area after
orchestrating a massive cleanup of the canyon in the 1990s. The last guided hike of the day begins at 2 p.m.
Admission charge.

3. Palm Springs Museum Trail
length: 2 miles
elevation gain: 900 feet
time: 2 hours
difficulty: Moderate

Trailhead: Begins behind the parking lot of Palm Springs Art Museum at 101 Museum Drive.  

Description: A great workout hike to a popular picnic area on a ridge overlooking Palm Springs. The steep trail links to the longer North Lykken Trail and offers amazing views of the entire valley.

4. Murray Canyon
length: 6 miles
elevation gain: 500 feet
time: 4 hours
difficulty: Moderate

Trailhead: From Andreas Canyon (in the Indian Canyons at the end of South Palm Canyon Drive), walk south to Murray Canyon trailhead.  

Description: Foot and horse trails lead through the open desert into the mouth of a deep canyon shaded by palm and other trees. In season, a running stream creates pools and small waterfalls. Watch for bighorn sheep and mule deer that sometimes roam on higher ground. Admission charge.

5. Araby Trail
length: 6 miles
elevation gain: 800 feet
time: 4 hours
difficulty: Moderate

Trailhead: From Highway 111, park in the dirt on the right side after turning onto Rimcrest/Southridge Road (just east of Araby Drive). Trail starts on the left (east) side of the guard gate.  

Description: Enjoy spectacular city vistas as you hike near Bob Hope’s famous “mushroom” house. Soon after passing Hope’s house, the Araby Trail intersects with the Berns, Garstin, and Henderson trails. There are no picnic tables, but plenty of rocks to rest on while you take in the extraordinary scenery.  

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