One of the major draws for both visitors and residents of the Palm Springs Valley is the extensive collection of hiking trails available throughout our beautiful desert paradise. I can honestly say that I probably haven’t even experienced more than a dozen, but of the ones I have hiked, a few definitely stand out. One of the most popular—the North Lykken Trail in Palm Springs—is a moderately difficult hike that I like to start at the mountain end of Ramon Road, and then end behind the Palm Springs Art Museum. Affording spectacular views of the city and the entire valley, the hike can take as little as 75 minutes for a nice workout with a bit of time to admire the sights.
One of my very favorite trails though is the Bump and Grind. Straddling the borders of my hometown of Rancho Mirage and neighboring Palm Desert, this super-popular trail not only gives you a major cardio workout but offers a bird’s eye view of some of the desert’s more interesting landmarks. Sure, the overall vistas are pretty spectacular, but looking north into Moller’s Garden Center and south to Palm Desert’s El Paseo are both very cool. Then there’s the highlight for most hikers: the paparazzi’s peek into Porcupine Creek, the property of Oracle founder and CEO Larry Ellison. Clocking in at more than 240-acres, the Rancho Mirage estate boasts an 18-hole golf course surrounding the 18,000+ square-foot Mediterranean-style main house and collection of eight two-bedroom guest houses. This green oasis amid the arid desert landscape is quite a sight to behold.
The major loop of the Bump and Grind, along with an offshoot trail that heads even higher up the mountain, will take most casual hikers over two hours to achieve. Be forewarned that this is a VERY popular hike, with visitors of all ages and experience, so if you’re seeking solitude, this isn’t the trek for you. You’ll see families, mountain bikers, marathon runners, and if you’re lucky, a big horn sheep or two!
I would be remiss if I didn’t remind every hiker of every experience level to use caution while traversing the trails of our beautiful communities of Greater Palm Springs. Always wear proper attire (which includes smart footwear and layers of clothing), use plenty of sunscreen, time your hikes to the weather forecasts—with a special reminder to hike early in the morning during summer—and don’t forget water. Hiking is one of the most fun and interesting ways to get exercise and to enjoy the beauty of our Southern California oasis! http://www.hiking-in-ps.com