8 miles
2,741 ft
-1,384 ft
Avg time
Trail Supporters, Builders & Maintainers of Art Smith Trail
  • BLM
    Land Manager

Art Smith Trail Details

  • Riding Area
    Palm Desert
    Palm Desert, California
  • Difficulty Rating
  • Trail Type
  • Bike Type
    DH, AM, XC
  • Trail Usage
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Climb Difficulty
    Black Diamond
  • Physical Rating
  • Season
  • TTFs on Trail
    Rock Face, Rock Garden, Skinny
  • Global Ranking
    #5625 in Mountain Biking
  • Land Manager
    Santa Rosa and San Jacinto National Monument

This ride is located north of Palm Desert in the Santa Rosa Mountains National Scenic Area. From its origin in Dead Indian Canyon, this 16.7-mile out-and-back singletrack route takes you through a diverse desert garden of cacti s you follow a couple of sandy washes into a canyon. The impeccably signed and maintained path then begins climbing sharply up switchbacks while passing signs erected in tribute to the trail's namesake. You will dismount and carry your bike with frequency. This trail is exclusively a ride for the young and young at heart. if you're riding like you're youthful, strong, and immortal, this is paradise. But if you feel old, blasé', or timid, it's an ordeal.

Access Info

To get to the Art Smith Trail, take the I-10 East exit towards Monterey Avenue. Veer towards the right, so that you proceed up the steep, rugged mountainside towards the last of the Golfland Developments. On your right-hand-side, you will see the trailhead of the Art Smith Trail.

To reach the parking area, you must push through the windy mountain pass for a total of ten miles. Make a right hand turn at the Pinyon Campgrounds. The parking for the Art Smith Trail is on the right near the entrance of the campground. A shuttle will take your to the trailhead.

Local Trail Association
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More Stats for Art Smith Trail bike trail
  • Altitude change
    1,357 ft
  • Altitude min
    1,027 ft
  • Altitude max
    2,472 ft
  • Altitude start
    1,033 ft
  • Altitude end
    2,390 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    5 miles
  • Distance down
    3 miles
  • Distance flat
    2,536 ft
  • Avg time
  • view trail stats
on Feb 20, 2017
Avg: 4.5 (4 votes)

view (25)
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Directions to art-smith-trail trailhead (33.668475, -116.408327)
update trails status or condition

Art Smith Trail Trail Reports

Feb 20, 2017 @ 1:57pm
Feb 20, 2017
Great shape. Recent rain has knocked down the dust and consilidated some of the loose stuff.
view all reports »


more »
2 |
Nov 23, 2018 @ 9:00am
Nov 23, 2018
Art Smith Trail, My City
3 |
Nov 23, 2018 @ 9:00am
Nov 23, 2018
Art Smith Trail, My City
3 |
Nov 23, 2018 @ 9:00am
Nov 23, 2018
Art Smith Trail, My City
13 |
Nov 14, 2018 @ 7:10pm
Nov 14, 2018
Art Smith Trail, My City

Routes with this trail

Ultimate Desert Ride
32 miles

2 Reviews & Comments

  • + 0
flag XC-HiDesert (Mar 17, 2018 at 18:58)
 Well marked and easy to navigate. Leave a ride at the end of the trail and Park at the top/ end of the trail with your bikes to start. We hiked our bikes up from the trail head. Fine day though.
  • + 0
flag backinmysaddle (Nov 23, 2018 at 8:58)
 I have ridden this from both hwy 74 (ending at the Dunn Rd picnic tables) as well as starting from the picnic tables and dropping in to end at hwy 74. In my opinion it’s a ton more fun starting at the picnic tables, much less hike a bike. Starting at hwy 74, i felt like there were a number of sections where you have to be a really good and really strong rider to stay on your bike. Going the other way there were only 2-3 places where we had to hop off. It’s a gorgeous ride and pretty demanding. If you have climbed to the picnic tables to do this, you have already had a good work out and so the 10 miles and some more climbing of Art Smith feel a bit harder than they should.

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