La Quinta Cove to Pinyon Pines
ElevationAscent: 5,350' 1,631 m
Descent: -1,619' -493 m
High: 4,812' 1,467 m
Low: 316' 96 m
GradeAvg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 59% (30°)
Current trail conditions
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“This strenuous hike goes from the top of the La Quinta Cover parking lot to the Sawmill Trailhead in Pinyon Pines.”— Mitch Moldenhauer
From the parking lot at the south end of the La Quinta Cove, follow the connector trail to the Boo Hoff Trail. In 2.9 miles at the top of the Boo Hoff Trail is the beginning of the Guadalupe Trail. It is not marked, but as soon as the trail veers to the east (left) you'll want to continue straight up the drainage. It is best to be using the Hiking Project mobile app at this point for GPS guidance. The Guadalupe Trail climbs south-southwest up the Santa Rosa Mountains and crosses three to four drainages/dry streambeds on the way.
You'll pass through several microclimates with distinct vegetation as you climb to almost 5,000 feet at the saddle between Martinez Mountain and Sheep Mountain. The end of the Guadalupe Trail descends from the battle to intersect with the east-west running Cactus Springs Trail. Take a right to head west on the Cactus Spring Trail and you'll gradually descend about 1,000 feet to Horsethief Creek and Cactus Spring before climbing again to its end at the Sawmill Trailhead in Pinyon Pines. The hike takes you through a very remote section of the Santa Rosa Mountains. It is best done during the cooler months as temperatures will be brutally hot in the summer.