The Desert View Trail is a great trail for families or those wanting to enjoy the solitude of Mount San Jacinto State Park without venturing into the wilderness areas (unlike most trails in the park, Desert View does not require a free permit).
At about 1.5 miles and with very little elevation change, it is a relatively easy introduction to the trails at the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. The trail also features the amazing desert views (hence the name of the trail) of Grubbs Notch. This point is actually five notches – or openings in the tree cover that expose the fantastic views of the Palm Springs area, about 8,000 feet below.
Once past the notches, the trail loops around to the north to head back to the mountain tram station. Warning: The concrete walkway back up to the station is less than fun after a day of hiking.
Directions: From Palm Springs, head north on Palm Canyon Drive and turn left on Tramway Road at the Visitors Center. Follow the road about 3 miles to the valley tram station, where you catch the tram up (ticket information). Once at the top, walk down the concrete walkway and turn left (south) at the bottom and follow signs to Desert View Trail.