Riding areaPalm Canyon
Cathedral City, California
Winter only trail
Bike typeAM, XC
DirectionDownhill PrimaryPopular direction shown
SeasonWhen the desert is cold
TTFs on trailDrop, Rock Face, Rock Garden
Every inexperienced or experienced biker dreams of taking an epic ride through a diverse landscape. The Palm Canyon Bike Trail is the true “epic ride” for the area of Southern California.
The Palm Canyon Trail is described as an “epic ride” because it takes you through a narrow single-track path that offers riders extreme views of forever-reaching vistas, refreshing stream beds, breathtaking ridges, sand, rocks and cacti. This is an “epic ride” that highlight the beautiful splendor that Mother Nature provided Southern California.
Many riders have described the Palm Canyon trail as a “sensory overload.” Your eyes will be amazed by the incredible views, as your ears are tickled by the trickle of a stream or the quietness of a ridge-side, and your nose will be refreshed by the many scents of the plants and the crisp air of the canyon.
The Palm Canyon Trail takes you from one desert trail to another as you explore the north slope of the spectacular Santa Rosa Mountains, at 4500 feet, to the valley of Palm Desert, at a mere 500 feet. The Palm Canyon “epic ride” follows twenty-nine miles of trails that weaves and winds through the stunning desert valley.
However, it must be emphasized that the Palm Canyon Trail is not a dream come true for a downhill, pleasure rider. Riders rigorously climb 2,000 feet and then descend an amazing 6,000 feet. The two major stressors of the Palm Canyon Trail are good navigational skills and self-sufficiency. Also, a fair share of motivation may help.
For first time riders on the trail, it is recommended that they ride with someone who has completed the entire trail before. Even though this is not a technical trail, it is a rather long trail that is a terrific fit for an intermediate rider. In other words, make sure you are in shape, before attempting this phenomenal “epic ride.”
The major hazards of this trail are the different types of cacti that are right alongside the trail. Also, there are a steep descents and exposure to canyon sides. It is important to note that this is a long ride, in which you are very far from help at certain points. Riders are expected to carry food, fluids, and a “spare derailleur hanger.”
The Palm Canyon Trail is not recommended for the unbearably hot months of summer. However, this is the perfect ride for the months of both fall and spring. Take a friend and enjoy this “epic ride” that you will remember for the rest of your life. Yes, the ride is really that amazing.
To reach the lower trailhead, follow CA-74 for an estimated 24.2 miles to the Palm Desert. Once you reach the Palm Desert, turn left onto East Palm Canyon Drive. At the Rimrock Shopping Center, you will find the Gene Autry Trail. If you prefer to start at the upper trailhead, take CA-74 to Ribbonwood Drive. At this time, make a right onto Pine View Road. Park where the pavement ends.
Local Trail Association
More Stats for Palm Canyon Trail 4EO1 mountain bike trail
Altitude change-3,551 ft
Altitude min776 ft
Altitude max4,354 ft
Altitude start4,354 ft
Altitude end803 ft
Distance climb3 miles
Distance down11 miles
Distance flat3,598 ft
- view trail stats
- Snow Packed
- Snow Covered
- Freeze/thaw Cycle
- Prevalent Mud
- Very Dry
Palm Canyon... Trail Reports
Mar 17, 2018 @ 8:56amMar 17, 2018
Mar 10, 2018 @ 9:23amMar 10, 2018
|Best I have seen it.|
Jan 28, 2018 @ 9:01amJan 28, 2018
|Trail in great shape.|
Jan 14, 2018 @ 5:08pmJan 14, 2018
|Palm Canyon, Indian Poterro, Dry Wash Road are all in excellent shape and someone has done some trail maintenance keeping the worst of the cactus...|
Dec 10, 2017 @ 9:24amDec 10, 2017
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