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Tahquitz Canyon

Intermediate
 4.4 (5) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

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


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Map Key

1.8

Miles

2.9

KM

Loop

881' 269 m

High

592' 180 m

Low

316' 96 m

Up

316' 96 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

18%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs No Dogs

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.

Overview

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.

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Eric Ashley

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 5 votes

#2495

Overall
  4.4 from 5 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
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3 Star
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1 Star
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Recommended Route Rankings

#349

in California

#2,495

Overall
42 Views Last Month
3,266 Since Jan 26, 2018
Intermediate

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Photos

Finishing up the loop through Tahquitz Canyon.
Jan 26, 2018 near Palm Sp…, CA
Looking back into Palm Springs from Tahquitz Canyon.
Jan 26, 2018 near Palm Sp…, CA
A narrow benching and lots of rocks give the trail a nice wild feel without being overly taxing.
Jan 26, 2018 near Palm Sp…, CA
Lookout rock named Kak Wa Wit at the mouth of Tahquitz Canyon
Mar 6, 2019 near Palm Sp…, CA
Tahquitz Canyon Waterfall after spring rain
Mar 6, 2019 near Palm Sp…, CA
Traveling up the rocky singletrack in Tahquitz Canyon.
Jan 26, 2018 near Palm Sp…, CA

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Check-Ins

May 17, 2020
Ime Gomez
Jul 29, 2019
L Schmoobz
Short gorgeous stroll with option to continue past the waterfall
Mar 6, 2019
Tom Jansen
1.8mi
Mar 2, 2019
Daniel Zepeda
Jan 13, 2019
Patrick Dundon
Warm!
Dec 25, 2018
Joshua Bloom
Sep 30, 2018
Travis Calanoc
Mar 16, 2018
Laura Caraiman