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
    Popular in reverse
  • Climb Difficulty
    Black Diamond
  • Physical Rating
  • Season
  • Dogs Allowed
  • TTFs on Trail
    Rock Face, Rock Garden, Skinny
  • Global Ranking
    #5625 in Mountain Biking
  • Local Popularity
    50 in Mountain Biking [+]
    • 5 in Trail Running
    • 50 in Hiking
  • 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 Mar 7, 2019
Avg: 4.6 (5 votes)

view (41)
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Trail Ridden Direction
Trailforks scans users ridelogs to determine the most popular direction each trail is ridden. A good flowing trail network will have most trails flowing in a single direction according to their intension.
The colour categories are based on what percentage of riders are riding a trail in its intended direction.
  • > 96%
  • > 90%
  • > 80%
  • > 70%
  • > 50%
  • < 50%
Trail Last Ridden
Trailforks scans ridelogs to determine the last time a trail was ridden.
  • < 2 days
  • < 1 week
  • < 2 weeks
  • < 1 month
  • < 6 months
  • > 6 months
Trail Ridden Direction
The intendid direction a trail should be ridden.
  • Downhill Only
  • Downhill Primary
  • Both Directions
  • Uphill Primary
  • Uphill Only
  • One Direction
Colors indicate trail is missing specified detail.
  • Description
  • Photos
  • Description & Photos
  • Videos

Trail Difficulties
  • Access Road/Trail
  • White
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Double Black Diamond

Trail Report Status
  • Clear / Green
  • Minor Issue / Yellow
  • Significant Issue / Amber
  • Closed or Major Issue / Red

  • Land Owner Overlay
  • Wilderness (typically no bikes in USA)
  • BLM (public)
  • USFS (Wildlife sanctuaries darker than usfs)
  • State land
  • Indigenous
  • Military
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
  • Map Markers
  • trail Trail Head
  • photo Photo
  • place Directory Listing
  • region Riding Area
  • Parking Parking
  • Viewpoint Viewpoint
  • Information Information
  • Warning Warning
  • Directions Directions
  • Water Fountain/Source Water Fountain/Source
  • Sight Sight
  • Restrooms Restrooms
  • Gate Gate
  • Camping Camping
  • Trail Sign Trail Sign
  • Table or Bench Table or Bench
  • Table or Bench eBike Charging Point
  • Other Other
      Directions to art-smith-trail trailhead (33.668475, -116.408327)
      update trails status or condition

      Art Smith Trail Trail Reports

      Mar 7, 2019 @ 7:29am
      Mar 7, 2019
      So many rocks and so much sand...at least 4 miles of hike a bike. Mile 8 is about 3/4 miles of deep sand
      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 »

      Recent Ridelog Activity on Trail

      Past Week
      • 0 rides
      6 Months
      • 19 rides
      • 17 miles avg distance
      • 23 rides


      more »
      51 |
      Nov 23, 2018 @ 9:00am
      Nov 23, 2018
      Art Smith Trail, My City
      51 |
      Nov 23, 2018 @ 9:00am
      Nov 23, 2018
      Art Smith Trail, My City
      51 |
      Nov 23, 2018 @ 9:00am
      Nov 23, 2018
      Art Smith Trail, My City
      59 |
      Nov 14, 2018 @ 7:10pm
      Nov 14, 2018
      Art Smith Trail, My City

      Routes with this trail

      Ultimate Desert Ride
      32 miles

      4 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.
      • + 0
      flag thechipsareahoy (Feb 14, 2019 at 8:22)
       I rode this starting from the picnic tables (near Dunn road and Hahn trail) after coming from Palm Canyon. I would not recommend starting from the Art Smith parking as you will be mostly walking your bike for the first few miles. Otherwise this was a great trail. A nice mix of fun flowy sections mixed with more technical rocky sections. Lots of little features along the way to play on.

      Combining it with Palm Canyon makes for a great long ride (about 25 miles) but you’ll need to do a shuttle unless you want to end with a 10 mile road ride uphill.
      • + 0
      flag TitoTomasi (Mar 4, 2019 at 21:14)
       Very good trail with a lot of terrain and lines. Loved the feeling of traveling in the mountains and all the features, canyons and cannonballs. It’s kinda long and demanding too. Better keep that in mind if you combine it with more options.

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