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Palm Canyon Trail to Stone Pools – Palm Springs, California

View of the palm oasis on the Palm Canyon Trail near Palm Springs.

View of the palm oasis on the Palm Canyon Trail near Palm Springs.

The hike from the Indian Canyons trading post to the stone pools via the Palm Canyon Trail is one of the most popular in Palm Springs. On land owned by the Agua Caliente tribe, there is an entrance fee of $9 per adult, but the fee is well worth it for the bright splashes of green that pop out from the otherwise brown desert.

The Palm Canyon trail starts at the trading post and immediately drops about 70 feet into a huge palm oasis. Follow the stream toward the back to find the trail, which is the left fork at the split. The trail snakes through the palm oasis until it ends after about a mile and then climbs a ridge so hikers get an bird’s eye view of the oasis below. This ridge is the steepest part of the trail. After this, the trail runs mostly straight and flat through open desert with expansive views of Mount San Jacinto to the north and the Santa Rosa chain to the south and west for about two miles before hitting the stone pools. When I went in mid-February, the pools were dry, but in the spring, they can fill up, especially after winters with heavy rain (a relative term in the desert).

The trail soldiers on to the south for many more miles, but a lot of hikers turn back at the stone pools. If you want an alternate route, take the high road once you arrive back at the south tip of the palm oasis. That trail will climb a ridge to the east of the oasis and adds an extra mile to your trip, which ends again back at the trading post.

  • Start of the Palm Canyon Trail in Indian Canyons near Palm Springs.
  • Oasis on the Palm Canyon Trail in Palm Springs
  • Oasis on the Palm Canyon Trail in Palm Springs
  • View of the palm oasis on the Palm Canyon Trail near Palm Springs.
  • View of the palm oasis on the Palm Canyon Trail near Palm Springs.
  • Palm Canyon Trail near Palm Springs.
  • Agave on the Palm Canyon Trail.
  • Palm Canyon Trail near Palm Springs.
  • Palm Canyon Trail near Palm Springs.
  • Sign near stone pools on the Palm Canyon Trail.

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Broadmoor Trail – Palm Springs, California

Overlooking Eagle Canyon oasis on the Broadmoor Trail.

Overlooking Eagle Canyon oasis on the Broadmoor Trail.

The Broadmoor Trail (also called the Goat Trail) is a wide hiking and biking trail that begins from the east side of the Rimrock Shopping Center in Palm Springs and is the entrance point to a wide variety of trails throughout the Santa Rosa Mountains. Hikers can scale Murray Peak, head east toward the Dunn Trail system that leads to Palm Desert or veer west toward Palm Springs and the network of trails above Bob Hope’s house.

Depending on the length and route, this can be moderate to strenuous. The trip I took, which ended at an amazing view overlooking Eagle Canyon oasis, is moderate at almost 3.5 miles and an elevation gain of about 650 feet. But a round-trip to Murray Peak is about 10 miles with about 1800 feet of elevation gain.

And keep an eye out for bighorn sheep, as they have been spotted throughout the area.

  • View of San Gorgonio from the Broadmoor Trail.
  • The wide Broadmoor Trail.
  • View from the Broadmoor Trail.
  • View from the Broadmoor Trail.
  • Overlooking Eagle Canyon oasis on the Broadmoor Trail.

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