Before you even get to the meat of this hike, you walk about a mile following a concrete culvert. On the other side of this culvert, past the fences, is a little compound called Porcupine Creek. It is notable because Oracle CEO Larry Ellison bought the property for over $40 million in 2011 and has hosted some high-profile guests, including President Obama. So pro tip: Probably don’t try to jump the fence to get a better look (you really can’t see much of Porcupine Creek from this trail).
With the real estate background out of the way, after walking your mile past Mr. Ellison’s vacation home, you’ll scoot down a concrete incline and soon into a small canyon. At the end of this canyon is the first of several (usually) dry waterfalls to scale. There are probably about 7 dry falls to climb, and the second one at about 30 feet is the toughest to get up and back down. If you’re in reasonably good shape, careful and not afraid of heights, even Fall #2 should be a fun challenge.
I turned back at an imposing rock face about 2.5 miles in, although I’ve seen others climb it. The trail is an out-and-back one, so you can turn around and go back the way you came at any time.
The area is technically only open to humans between October and December due to bighorn sheep territory.
Directions: From Highway 111 in Rancho Mirage, turn south onto Mirage Drive, just east of the Rancho Mirage library. As Mirage Road bends to the east, turn into the park on the right and park there.