Palm trees lining Frank Sinatra Dr and Dean Martin Dr. Snow-capped mountains painting the skyline. A road runner scurrying across the sand. You’ll find it all in the Palm Desert, the area in and around Palm Springs. A weekend trip to this beautiful desert city was our first voyage of 2016. We had our fair share of generous “desert pours” of booze, played a lot of games, and caught up with friends from NYC. There was also a decent amount of hiking and we recommend checking out these easy hikes. In between the golfing and drinking, that is.
Palm Springs Museum Trail -- Starting in the corner of the museum’s north parking lot, this trail doesn’t waste any time. Within the first few steps the uphill climb starts, but the views (that you see almost immediately), make up for the switchbacks. As you walk, the trail can be hard to spot, so follow the white circles painted on rocks every few feet carefully. We had to turn around before reaching the picnic tables at the top since we didn’t want to get stuck on the trail in the dark. I can only imagine how beautiful the views must have been up there, because they were pretty magnificent on the way up.
Bump ‘n’ Grind -- Throw on your Lululemons and check out this popular trail. It is accessed from the parking lot behind Target on Painters Path, and can be very crowded, even on a weekday. You can do this hike multiple ways: as a loop, or up-and-down the same trail. Like the museum trail, the elevation gain is quick. After only a few hundred feet you will get great views of the neighboring mountains and the civilization of Palm Springs. Pay close attention on the trail because it is a favorite among mountain bikers as well.
La Quinta Trail -- Follow the main trail and then veer left up the mountain. This hike offers “risky” and “gentle” trail options (see photo). Rob and our friends didn’t take the risky path, but the gentle trail summits with a nice view of a golf course and the Salton Sea in the distance. Parking is easy and the trails aren’t crowded, so it is perfect for a quick sunset stroll.