Located in Palm Springs, just footsteps away from Palm Canyon Drive, welcome to the Palm Mountain Resort.

There are literally hundreds of trails between the spires of the San Jacintos in the west and the gnarled canyons of Mecca Hills in the east; a newcomer will have plenty of choices to get to know local hiking destinations.

There are plenty of easy trails that will acquaint you with the terrain, climate and scenery of each place. 

This well-manicured trail hugs the mountain slope behind Bob Hope's house, passing through thick desert grass and a peaceful landscape of cacti. The quiet out here, in this canyon popular with horse riders from nearby Smoketree Ranch, belies the fact that this mountain escape lies just minutes from the bustle of downtown Palm Springs.

This labyrinthine network of rock walls and sand washes near the Salton Sea is the Coachella Valley's answer to the slot canyons of Anza-Borrego. Formed by a combination of floods and disturbances along the San Andreas Fault, the narrow, steep-walled canyons reveal desert trees, a variety of birds, and after a healthy season of rain, abundant wildflowers. In the afternoon, the dull gray rock walls often turn a golden color, recalling the famous canyons of southern Utah.

In spring this modest trail off Box Canyon Road is blanketed with wildflowers. In the winter, the trail won't be quite as colorful, but its tiny canyons and open expanses looking out onto the Salton Sea are pleasant throughout the year.

Visitors to the high desert often liken their Joshua Tree first experience to stepping onto another planet. The gnarled, contorted Joshua trees, set against towering piles of doughy-looking boulders, make this place like no other on earth. the park lends itself best to camping and excitable wandering through the park's different terrains; longer hikes can be monotonous and their dry air tires some hikers quickly. But a number of easy trails offer short, satisfying tromps amid the vegetation, wildlife and scenery that make JTNP famous.

Key's View Trail / Inspiration Peak 
One of the best ways to find a panoramic view of the Coachella Valley, from Mount San Jacinto to the Salton Sea, is to drive all the way down Key's View Road in Joshua Tree National Park, and stop here at the park's southern edge.

Bump and Grind Trail
  More of a running path than a wilderness trail, the "Bump and Grind" is popular with bikers, joggers and hikers alike. A quick, 4-mile jaunt up and down the mountain, it's great for a morning workout or a leisurely stroll to fine views of the central valley.

Situated in the Santa Rosa Mountains, just over the ridge from Rancho Mirage, picturesque Garner Valley combines aromatic pine forests with wide, grassy plains that recall Colorado's mountain country. Hiking trails climb up the mountainside on either side of the valley, offering views of both sides of the so-called "Desert Divide." For those looking for a stiffer challenge than that offered by most desert hikes, Garner Valley has a wealth of rigorous, almost alpine ridges to conquer.

Hurkey Creek Nature Trail 
Hurkey Creek Park is a quaint camping area nestled in the shady pine forests of Garner Valley. The best reason to visit the park is the chance to dip your desert-burned feet in the cool creek that runs along the park's short nature trail.

Nestled in the San Bernardino National Forest, this is a major destination for serious hikers, who cut their teeth on peaks like Tahquitz Peak, Devil's Slide and Mt. San Jacinto.

Ernie Maxwell Trail   
The majestic peaks towering above Idyllwild's pine forests offer some of the area's most spectacular views of the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa mountains. It takes a strenuous hike to earn those views. Fortunately, there's an easier way to get beautiful glimpses of the rolling mountainside near Idyllwild without undertaking a rocky trek up a steep incline.

The Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail offers an easy day hike through the shady, aromatic pine forests below Tahquitz Peak, providing non-athletic hikers and families a walk featuring wonderful scenery without any challenging terrain.

These deep canyons are fed by the abundant underground springs that gave Palm Springs its name. Trails throughout the canyons, which are owned by the Cahuilla Indians, sprout clusters of Washington fan palm trees around watery oases, creating a startlingly tropical scene in the desert.

Andreas Canyon  
A burbling stream right beside the parking lot of Indian Canyons leads into Anreas Canyon, the little brother to the larger Murray and Palm canyons nearby. This1.5-mile roundtrip hike gives you the same palm tree scenery of those longer trails, with a fraction of the effort.

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