Cradling the desert valley, the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains hold a rich history, a bright future, and awesome experiences for those who hike their trails
Denver can almost compete. Seattle and Portland try, but fall short. Nowhere in the lower 48 can you find more hiking trails (more than 140) or trail mileage (more than 1,250) than within the 60-mile-plus radius of Palm Springs.
The North Face of Mount San Jacinto diverts most climbers with its off-limits entry, rattlesnakes, rock and ice, and extreme weather. Those who dare to brave the elements often become part of the escarpment’s chilling history.
The hike from Southridge Drive and Highway 111 in Palm Springs takes you up the west end of the Santa Rosa Mountains above the exclusive houses beyond the gates on Southridge. They include the former abodes of William Holden, Steve McQueen, and David Janssen, as well as the flying sauceresque house where Bob Hope entertained large crowds (a particularly popular postcard image when the roof was copper).
Six years after Congress designated the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains as a national monument, we reflect on the ups and downs in transforming this range into an attractive
eco-tourism hot spot.
All you need to know to get started on the hiking experience of your life.