By Denise Ortuno Neil
One great way to start out 2017 is taking a hike on one of the beautiful trails in the Coachella Valley, and we have plenty of them! It’s a must for those who enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some fun putting boot to dirt and relishing in the deserts amazing nature.
The desert boasts incredible hiking trails, with a variety of levels of intensity to suit all hikers. Here are The Palm Springs Locals top picks of places in the Coachella Valley to get out and take a hike.
South Lykken Trail is Located off South Palm Canyon Drive, and named after Palm Springs first postmaster and one of the towns pioneers Carl Lykken. The entrance to the trail may not really look like one as you’re actually walking through desert behind a residential area. But as the path starts to elevate, the Lykken Trail sign becomes visible and you know that you’re on the right path.
The trail does ascend at a quickened pace at times, and is deemed as a moderate to difficult hike. But the rewards when reaching the plateau (you know you’re there when you see the picnic table) are spectacular as it gives an extensive view of South Palm Springs stretching north east towards the lower valley. It is free to hike South Lyyken Trail and well worth the leg work! www.hiking-in-ps.com
Indian Canyons without question is one of the most beautiful sites in the Coachella Valley. The area has the largest population of California Fan Palms in the world, and offers an oasis type experience and a moderate grade hike.
What makes the canyon so unique, is its picturesque flowing streams that are visible throughout the canyon. There are also waterfalls that are sourced by the melting snow during the winter months. Visitors can hike Palm, Andreas and Murray Canyons which all are connected to Indian Canyon. Admission is $9 for adults, $5 for kids 6-12 and special pricing for seniors and students. Indian Canyons truly captures the essence and beauty of desert nature. A hiking must! www.indiancanyons.com
Tahquitz Canyon has had an illustrious and at times infamous past. It is the home of the Tahquitz Witch Legend. The story is of a revered shaman who went rogue with his powers, and ended up being banished to Tahquitz Canyon by the tribe of the Cahuilla’s because of his evil ways. It is said that the shamans’ spirit still haunts the canyon, creating havoc when he can. In the early morning and at dusk, when the shadows hang heavy over the canyon, you can see the form of a witch…the Tahquitz Witch.
But all legends aside, Tahquitz Canyon is a fun hike. It is similar to Indian Canyons as it offers up refreshing water sources including an impressive waterfall at the core of the canyon. It is a moderate hike, unless you decide to scale the mountain. Admission is $12.50 for adults and $6.00 for children 12 and under (group rates are available). The visitor’s center offers guided and self-guided hikes. Tahquitz Canyon is surely one of the deserts most famous hiking spots. www.tahquitzcanyon.com
Bump n Grind is located in Palm Desert about 25 miles east of Palm Springs off of Hwy 111. It is a very popular hiking spot, with a good amount of foot traffic at almost every given time of the day. The grade is perfect for a calorie burning hike, as hikers are often found running the trail.
The start of the trail is behind Target in Palm Desert off Painters Path and there is no charge to hike the trail. This is the most popular and easiest entrance to find. The top of the trail offers up impressive views of Palm Desert on one side, and of Rancho Mirage on the other.
You can also hike up to the Palm Desert cross from the trail. The cross, which is lit up at night has become a popular hiking goal for many. On a moonlit night and with the cross shining bright, it will most likely leave an indelible mark on your hiking experience. www.hiking-in-ps.com
Remember that no matter which hiking excursion you choose, hike with caution, stay on the trail, wear proper footwear and bring plenty of water as well as your cell phone. Those are the basics.
Now get out there and get your hike on in 2017!
Lykken Trail Pictured