Joshua Tree's Cholla Cactus Gardens while Hiking near Palm Desert

Palm Desert is a shining jewel among Southern California’s gorgeous desert landscapes. We’re just a short drive from Palm Springs, and we’re surrounded by a national park, state park, and national forest. All of those geographic advantages mean that there is plenty of hiking near Palm Desert. Some of the best Palm Springs hiking trails are here, such as Ladder Canyon and Joshua Tree National Park. Here are the five bucket list Palm Desert hikes to try during your stay at Shadow Mountain Resort, listed from shortest to longest.

Joshua Tree’s Cholla Cactus Gardens

Joshua Tree National Park has tons of gorgeous Palm Desert hikes, so we recommend exploring more than one of the trails. However, we’re choosing to highlight the Cholla Cactus Gardens in this list. It’s only a quarter-mile, so it’s suitable for people of all activity levels, and it features incredible views of the native vegetation.

Bump and Grind Hiking near Palm Desert

View of Ladder Canyon Trail

The official Bump and Grind Trail is just over one mile long. It’s in the San Bernardino National Forest and doesn’t have any crazy elevation changes, making it a good trail for a run or leisurely walk. However, the Bump and Grind Trail is part of a three-mile loop with about 1,000 feet of elevation changes, beginning at the Hopalong Cassidy-Mike Schuler Trailhead. The trailhead is just 10 minutes from Shadow Mountain Resort, so you can take a quick morning hike before returning for brunch.

Ladder Canyon & Painted Canyon Loop

These two trails merge to form a four-and-a-half-mile loop. You’ll walk through a canyon and climb ladders, so be sure that you’re comfortable with some technical work. It’s a sunny place to go hiking near Palm Desert. You’ll need sun protection, such as sunscreen and a hat, and plenty of water.

Art Smith Trail

The Art Smith Trail is also part of the San Bernardino National Forest. The eight-mile trail is one of the more strenuous Palm Desert Hikes, but the scenery is worth the effort. You’ll see the Coachella Valley, Palm Desert, Ranchero Mirage, and Joshua Tree National Park from the top of this trail.

Mt. San Jacinto Summit Trail

Hiking near Palm Desert on Mt San Jacinto

Hiking to the peak of Mt. San Jacinto from the Tramway is about 10 and a half miles. It’s one of the most popular places to go hiking near Palm Desert, so the trail is well marked, and you’ll likely run into other explorers during your trek. 

Where to Stay for Hiking near Palm Desert

Shadow Mountain Resort is one of the best boutique hotels in Southern California, and it offers luxurious accommodations surrounded by the best hiking near Palm Desert. There are tons of guided activities for you to try, too! Contact us to book your stay in the hiking capital of Southern California.