Editor's note: Please check the latest travel restrictions due to COVID-19 or the California wildfires before planning any trip and always follow government advice. Menu & Reservations Make Reservations . The Wilderness Loop hike begins in the flatlands leading up to Eisenhower Mountain. There are a few sections of trail where there are steep drop-offs. Located directly outside of Palm Spring, this dog-friendly trail offers stunning views of the desert’s natural landscape in addition to river views and seasonal springtime wildflowers. Picnic Area – plunk down and treat your family to a well-deserved rest at the covered picnic table. Great trail, wonderful views, good for regular hikers, not for first timers. It’s not an easy walk by any stretch, but you’re not summiting San Jacinto Peak either. Oceanside rambles, desert palm oases, skyscraping peaks and silent forests await. Palm Desert has 3 backpacking trails. Here you can stop at the Eisenhower Mt. And no matter how comfortable that shady wash looks on a hot summer day in monsoon season, remember that churning torrents of mud, boulders, dead cows, and water … It’s an excellent trail for the whole family as there is not much elevation gain, and there are five notches where you can get different views of the valley below you. Hiking up the canyon side is a smooth climb and very scenic. Oceanside rambles, desert palm oases, skyscraping peaks and silent forests await. Wear right shoes, plenty of fluid and snack. There are several covered picnic tables along the Wilderness Loop hike, all of which are noted on the trail map. The Discovery Trail is an easy-ish quarter mile, while the far longer Wilderness Loop "traverses a very rocky canyon if you traverse the loop in a counter clockwise manner, or a desert … More challenging adventures to come. There are some dangerous animals who live in the Living Desert nature preserve including bobcats, coyotes and rattlesnakes. We hope you enjoy this kid-friendly hike as much as we did. Except in winter, expect to get your feet wet. That's a lot to pack into 2.4 miles, but as with most desert riding, these are long miles. Send by email or mail, or print at home. Desert View Trail Experience Level: Beginner to intermediate Distance: 1.5-mile loop Elevation: Approximately 8,000 feet 3 Reviews. Get a little more daring on our exciting Adventure Loop as you walk through the hilly desert wash and bajada and climb to an interpretive exhibit of the San Andreas Fault with broad views (1.5 mi). Please note the Living Desert Zoo hiking trails are closed for the summer. See all Palm Desert trails. Peaceful and quiet out there. It’s a moderate hike and our 4 & 6-year-old kids did it without breaking a sweat. Would definitely just go clockwise and turn around at the picnic table. Gift cards for Wilderness Loop Trail, 47900 Portola Ave, Palm Desert, CA. Commonly searched for in Palm Desert. Trails.com member Leda C. recently completed Randall Henderson Loop. We recommend both parents carry, It was cloudy and even a bit chilly on the day we hiked the Wilderness Trail in mid-February. This Living Desert hiking trail may seem a bit long for some kids, but it’s fun and not that hard. East of the wash, the trail reaches the western segment of the second loop, the Wilderness Loop. On this trail you can choose a short, medium, or the trailhead across long hike. The rock formations through this leg are super cool – our kids loved them so much it made the uphill walk seem almost effortless. Here are 10 of California’s best hiking trails. Not a difficult hike but challenging just because of the rock scramble. The flat and wide trail has a rocky hill on the right with arid desert scrub on the left. The “boulders” that others complain of are just large dry river bed rocks. By way of comparison, the Living Desert Zoo webpage estimates the Wilderness Loop hike will take between 3-5 hours. Being a desert, there are very few places to hide along the trail. The Living Desert Zoo has been named one of the Top 10 Zoos in the United States, making it worth a visit even without the Wilderness Loop Trail. Follow the signs to the Wilderness Loop. When we need a hiking trail map, we always use the AllTrails hiking app when we go hiking with our kids. Beautiful views of Coachella Valley! I hiked with my service dog and she found it doable and challenging as well. It’s a very beautiful scene. The trail is primarily used for hiking and running and is best used from September until May. We loved the zoo so thought the fee to get in was worth it. The Wilderness Loop hike is a popular, kid-friendly Palm Desert hike. We recommend you hike the Wilderness Loop trail counter-clockwise as well. These trails range from 6 to 17.6 miles in length. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/the-living-desert-wilderness-loop-trail At the end of the canyon, the Wilderness Trail turns sharply to the left and continues its moderate climb up the slopes of Eisenhower Mountain. Plenty of sun and exercise. This trail is about one mile long on a smooth dirt path, and includes interpretive signage. Chances are good your kids will handle this hike without issue if they are reasonably active. The dry riverbed was great. Here are a few other considerations for hiking the Wilderness Loop hike with kids: The full round-trip distance of this Living Desert hiking trail is 5.4 miles / 8.7km. You may be interested to know that elevation of Eisenhower Mountain is 1,922 feet (586m) above sea level. It’s a moderately challenging hike but the distance and solitude were big pluses for me. The Wilderness Loop hike can be split into three distinct difficulty sections: As you can see, only 1.2 miles of this Living Desert Zoo hiking trail will present any physical challenge. Make sure to walk to the top of the ridge and look over into the valley once you get to the peak of the trail by the picnic area. In my personal opinion it’s better to walk up a dry river bed with big rocks then going down. You can also view the Living Desert Wilderness Loop Trail map online. This kid-friendly Palm Desert hike is located within the Living Desert Zoo, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is some gimmicky zoo hike. Location: West Palm Beach Length: 4.7 miles Lat-Long: 26.727542,-80.151119 Type: balloon Fees / Permits: free Difficulty: moderate to difficult, depending on water levels Bug factor: moderate to high Restroom: portable toilets Open 7 AM – 6 PM. Always go counterclockwise, so the view’s reveal at the top is best. The Desert View Trail leaves from the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Station and goes out on an easy 2.5 mile loop. The Wilderness Loop is for the adventurous or those ready to explore. Sure, there are boulders on either side of the hiking trail, but the biggest rocks you’ll encounter on the path can be stepped on (or over) without any climbing or scrambling required. 100% satisfaction guaranteed. Here are 10 of California’s best hiking trails. San Gorgonio Wilderness Trail Maps. I loved the experience, to see Mother Nature in full. Loved the trail! Bing Maps has a collection of great trails with directions to trail heads as well as photos. We stopped at one of the lower picnic tables to eat our packed lunch and then at the Eisenhower Mountain Picnic Area at the very top to eat raspberries and the yummy freshly baked cookies from our hotel lobby. Oh yeah Water, Water, Water! Not scary at all! A slow start and pretty basic/boring for the first 1/4 but the rest of the hike makes up for it. We recommend you read the stats and descriptions of the hike below and make your decision based on your knowledge of your family’s hiking capabilities. Hwy 74 go south, left on Haystack Rd, right on Portola Ave. Beautiful hike, definitely a challenge but the view is totally worth it. The Wilderness Loop becomes a real hiking trail at this stage as it enters a beautiful Eisenhower Mountain valley. There are also drinking water stations throughout the zoo, but none on the trail. 3. But typically, your biggest risk on this Living Desert nature preserve hike is sun exposure. Great hike to take visitors on, my friends from WA enjoyed this trail. Here the Wilderness Trail becomes narrow with rocks steps and the occasional steep drop-off. Since 1995, The Wildlands Conservancy has been dedicated to preserving important and remarkable landscapes and opening them to the public free of charge for outdoor education and passive recreation. It is also very challenging climbing through the boulder fields of a rocky desert canyon, and switchbacks rising to 1,000 feet. Website. The Living Desert Wilderness Loop hike is one of the most popular Palm Desert hikes. Only you will know if the Wilderness Loop hike will be too hard for your family. If the picnic tables are full, there are plenty of benches found along the lower parts of the trail in the flatlands below Eisenhower Mountain. The full loop is a bit more challenging, from the Santa Rosa & but offers scenic views from an overlook complete San Jacinto Mountains Excepting the dip into the wash, it is a very gentle rise and fall as you travel the loop. Most kids love climbing on rocks and there are plenty of opportunities for them to show off their monkey skills on this fun kid-friendly hike. As you exit the boulder field, the trail starts to climb up the side of the canyon wall. The Living Desert Wilderness Loop Trail is a beautiful nature trail leading hikers up onto the western shoulder of Eisenhower Mountain. The vast majority of families hiking here will not have any safety incidents, but here are a few safety tips for hiking in Palm Desert with kids: We do a ton of hiking with our kids and know that bringing the right gear along is important. Having the Wilderness Loop trail map on our phones gave us peace of mind that we were always on the right hiking trail. Overall, I really enjoyed this hike! I was alone but I was able to give short info to my wife thanks to 5G and 4G internet. The Randall Henderson loop is actually comprised of 3 trails - the Desert Wash Loop, the Cholla Loop and the Canyon Loop . Whitewater Canyon Loop Trail. Good for Adrenaline Seekers; Good for Couples; Free Entry; Budget-friendly; Admission Tickets. After the second picnic area, you’ll see a bunch of warning signs about how difficult the trail is about to become. Randall Henderson Loop Trail, Palm Desert: See 11 reviews, articles, and 14 photos of Randall Henderson Loop Trail, ranked No.19 on Tripadvisor among 53 attractions in Palm Desert. It’s about a 30 minute drive from Central Palm Springs, but it only took us 15 minutes from our family-friendly Palm Desert hotel. I usually see 5-10 people on this hike, it’s never too crowded. You could probably get by with normal shoes on this Palm Desert hike, but with the boulder field, rocky terrain and a steep gravel downhill section, you’ll be better off with hiking shoes with good grips. Outstanding Features: palm groves, desert and mountain views, Mission Creek earthquake fault. A shorter accessible trail, the Butterfly Orchid Trail, is also a part of this hike and can be walked directly from the trailh… Parking is free. Bring good shoes and enough water for each person. Hiking Eisenhower Peak - Wilderness Loop Trail This week's hike was our third trip on the Eisenhower Peak, Wilderness Loop Trail, located at The Living Desert . Hikers, bikers, and their leashed pups make the 2.7-mile trek through the lower reaches of the Santa Rosa Mountains for Instagram-worthy pics with a giant lit-up cross, which can be seen for miles when illuminating the night sky. How Long will the Wilderness Loop Hike Take? Otherwise it was a great time for everyone. After paying $25 (per adult) for admission into The Living Desert (a local zoo), you can hike into natural wash then trek up to Eisenhower mountain. Sure, not a nice flat surface to hike on, but nothing to hold back a hiker knowingly going in to a moderately strenuous hike. Here are the top reasons our family enjoyed the Wilderness Loop hike: As you may guess by the name, this family-friendly Palm Desert hike is a loop trail, giving you two directions to choose from. The most popular trail is San Jacinto Loop (Backpacking). Palm Desert has 6 horseback-riding trails. Palm Desert Visitor Services continues to serve guests remotely while our facilities are closed to in-person visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Being on the Living Desert Zoo property, there are washrooms everywhere around the animal exhibits. Wilderness Loop Trail 47900 Portola Ave Palm Desert CA 92260. Whatever your skill level, this trail is a great way to introduce yourself to the San Jacinto wilderness. The trailhead begins at the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center. My fit bit recorded an elevation gain of over 900ft, and the trail is just over 5 miles. Based on our research, we hiked the Wilderness Loop counter-clockwise. Be sure your kids wear s, The Wilderness Loop hike is not stroller accessible, but it’s common in Palm Springs for parents to carry their little ones on their backs in a carrier. Mid-day at the end of February there a little shade here and there and a couple of picnic shelters. About The Living Desert’s Trail System (And The Adventure Loop Trail) There are 3 trails that can be accessed from this trailhead, the Discovery Loop, the [larger] Adventure Loop, and the [largest] Wilderness Loop. Down the ridge side makes the views enjoyable. About 800 yards of rock scrambling starts the counter-clockwise trek. Pets are not permitted. Only saw a few other hikers on a perfect weather day. Search for “The Living Desert Wilderness Loop Trail” within the AllTrails app. Be sure to go beforehand and there are no facilities on the trail. Hiking the creek bed was no fun. There’s an opportunity to take a small detour up the side of the hill to see and learn about the impact the nearby San Andreas fault has had on the local geography. Using our typical adult hiking speed, hikers without kids can expect to complete the Wilderness Trail hike in 2 – 2.5 hours. Once on top of the mountains, the sites over the valley and across the mountain range were really nice The Wilderness Loop is for the adventurous or those ready to be adventurous. After 2.8 miles / 4.5km, you reach the highest point on this Palm Desert hike. The first 1.6 miles (2.5km) are easy. The trail’s eastern leg is its high point, specifically a picnic shelter at close to 1000 feet elevation. The hiking trails are open from October 1 – May 31 every year. This is as deadly in downtown Palm Springs as the Mojave Desert Wilderness. The Conservancy owns and stewards 146,000 acres across 14 preserves throughout California and is a leader in providing free outdoor education programs for underserved children. Gabby Hayes Trail to Herb Jeffries Trail Loop is a lightly trafficked loop trail located near Palm Desert, California that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate.. Access Info. They had turned back due to the scary boulder field sign and they were encouraging us to turn back as well. Loved this trail! Go left/north onto it. The most popular trails are Art Smith Trail and Upper Palm Canyon. We didn’t see any of these animals and chances are very good you won’t either but be aware especially if your kids like to run ahead or dawdle behind. The remaining 2.7 miles (4.3km) is either downhill or as flat as an. Mr. Jeffries, a former Palm Desert resident, performed and spoke at the trail … The Living Desert Zoo is an excellent thing to do with kids in Palm Desert, so combining this hike with a visit to the zoo will make for a memorable family outing. My phone says it was 7.0 miles. The route starts to gain elevation, as it heads up a desert mountain ridge. The Living Desert, which requires a paid entry fee. It’s more like a ‘small rock field’…. Ladder Canyon Hiking Trail is located in the Mecca Hills Wilderness area, managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). You’ll see another scary looking sign which talks about a ‘boulder field’, but it’s not nearly as bad as they make it sound. We downloaded the Wilderness Loop trail map into our AllTrails app our phones and followed along using the phone’s GPS. Stroll the Discovery Loop, a flat, sandy trail through a palo verde and smoketree desert woodland. The. From the desert to the highest peak in Southern California, the San Gorgonio Wilderness offers a trail for everyone. Hike took us 3 hours; we did some zoo both before and after the hike. The slope of the incline is less steep going counter-clockwise and the scenery is better suited to hiking in this direction. Top 15 Tips to Have the Best Day at Xcaret Mexico, 4 Best Kid Friendly Hikes in Palm Springs, 6 Kid Friendly Walks in Joshua Tree National Park, The hiking trail leads you through a 2,700 foot (820m) long ‘boulder field’. Love this trail. Hold little hands for safety during these sections. We have an entire post full of all our best tips for hiking with kids and this one with all the best hiking gear for kids. No really – there’s literally a bee exhibit right next to the trailhead! There are 81 miles of trails here, along with pristine wilderness, endangered animals, and natural solitude. This kid-friendly Palm Desert hike is located within the Living Desert Zoo, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is some gimmicky zoo hike. Buy a Wilderness Loop Trail gift card. Dogs are not allowed in the Living Desert Zoo, and as such, are not permitted on the Wilderness Loop Trail either. (0.5 mi). The rocky canyon scenery just keeps getting better and as you hike further into the Eisenhower Mountain canyon, and the mountains in the distance just keep getting bigger. The Wilderness Loop Trail is on the eastern edge of the Living Desert Zoo. We went counter clockwise and saw wildlife (desert iguana, chuckwalla, unidentified 12 in. I recommend water, water, water. It offered some unique scenery and the surrounding mountains just made the hike that much more interesting. As you reach the far end of the loop and start to come back down along a ridgetop trail, the aerial views of Palm Desert, Palm Springs and the surrounding mountains are incredible . Fun, felt like a kid again! We’d rate this Palm Desert hiking trail as ‘moderate’, mostly due to its length. This trail traverses a very rocky desert canyon if you travel the loop in a counter clockwise manner, or a desert mountain ridge if you travel in a clockwise manner. This is a little faster than usual for a hike of this length as our kids were having so much fun, they ran a decent amount of the hike. The Wilderness Loop Trail is a highly entertaining and scenic hike in Palm Desert. The Wilderness Loop Trail is a highly entertaining and scenic hike in Palm Desert. Rubicon Trail This Palm Springs zoo has been ranked one of the top zoos in the USA, so it’s huge bonus if your kids also enjoy animals. Your family will make it more than halfway up as this Palm Desert hike tops out at 1,007 feet (307m). We have hiked a number of trails in the Palm Springs area this trip including in Joshua Tree and this is a must do. The green golf courses of Palm Springs really stand out against the giant arid mountains which surround the city. Buy the yearly park pass to save on entrance fees. If your family is reasonably active, you should have no trouble hiking the Living Desert Wilderness Loop with kids. The total elevation gain on this hike is 745 feet / 227m. Its location is easy to find on the map of the zoo and by using the helpful sign posts within the zoo. The Bureau of Land Management ( BLM ) awesome, best $ 25 you! Accessed with purchase of Admission to the wilderness loop trail palm desert begins at the covered picnic tables the. 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