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Tahquitz Canyon

  4.4 ( 5 ) Favorite


1.8 mile 2.9 kilometer loop


Ascent: 316' 96 m
Descent: -316' -96 m
High: 881' 269 m
Low: 592' 180 m


Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 18% (10°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by Eric Ashley

Enjoy a peaceful 1.8 mile loop through a dramatic desert canyon.

Eric Ashley

Features River/Creek · Views · Waterfall

Family Friendly This is a fairly short hike that shouldn't overly tire out kids. There are also lots of rocks alongside the trail to carefully scramble on.

Hours and dates vary seasonally and there is an entrance fee for each visitor. For more information, click here. Watch out for rattlesnakes.


This delightful loop travels through a dramatic desert landscape on a narrow rocky trail. The destination is a 60-foot seasonal waterfall that spills into a quiet alcove. Even if you don't catch the water, the canyon floor is littered with boulders and small scenes that make for an interesting trail experience.

Need to Know

The visitor center offers a small collection of displays, an observation deck, and a video presentation. There are typically a few ranger-led hikes through the morning and early afternoon.


After exiting the Tahquitz Canyon Visitor Center, the rocky singletrack climbs gradually across a wide drainage as it works towards a small creek with a low, picturesque rock bridge. From there, the trail switchbacks up along the edge of the canyon with occasional stone steps leading the way.

Hikers will work around plenty of scattered boulders and start to get a nice framed view of Palm Springs back down the canyon. All the while the towering walls provide a dramatic backdrop of stone and shrubs. You may encounter visitors traveling the other direction, which can make for slightly awkward passing, especially higher up as the trail nears the waterfall.

You'll know you're getting close when the narrow trail starts passing beneath low trees. If you're lucky enough to catch it when it's flowing, the waterfall sets a lovely scene as it runs down a weathered rock wall to drop in a shallow pool of water. Across another low bridge, the singletrack continues climbing up the other side of the canyon before dropping down on the return. About 0.3 miles later it connects back to itself. Head right to the next junction where a short hike on Tahquitz Canyon Alternate concludes back at the visitor center.

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ADA Accessible, Flora & Fauna, History & Background


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Jul 29, 2019
L Schmoobz
Short gorgeous stroll with option to continue past the waterfall
Mar 6, 2019
Tom Jansen
Mar 2, 2019
Daniel Zepeda
Jan 13, 2019
Patrick Dundon
Dec 25, 2018
Joshua Bloom
Sep 30, 2018
Travis Calanoc
Mar 16, 2018
Laura Caraiman

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 5 votes


  4.4 from 5 votes
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