If you are ready to experience some of the most beautiful hiking the Palm Springs area has to offer, grab your CamelBak, other Hydration Pack or Hydroflask and get out on the Bear Creek Canyon Trail located in La Quinta!
Distance: About 4.5 Miles
Beginning elevation 340′
Difficulty: Strenuous if you hike all the way to the oasis at the end of the trail.
Elevation Gain 2,300′
Directions to the Bear Creek Trail
To reach the Bear Creek trailhead, take Highway 111 to La Quinta. At Washington Street, turn right. When you get to Eisenhower Drive, make a right turn and follow it until it ends at the top of the cove. Make a right onto Bermudas, and note that Bermudas becomes Calle Tecate. At the intersection of Calle Tecate and Avenida Ramirez there is a parking area in the dirt on the left. From the parking area follow the wide well marked trail to the “oasis” you will see up the trail to the right. The City of La Quinta has built a real nice hiking park in the area called ” Oasis Cove “, and the trail leads to that.
Keep walking past the oasis about 100 yards. There is a wash to the right, enter the wash, and turn south ( left ) and keep to the left for about 20 minutes ( give or take a few minutes, depending on how fast you walk… ). As you walk, the canyon will narrow. Look for a small canyon to the right that has black charred rock from camper’s use. Not far past this canyon, at the Palo Verde tree, is the trail head that marks the beginning of Bear Creek Ridge Trail ( yes, there is even a sign that identifies it as such… ).
From here it is easy to follow the trail. This trail offers panoramic views in every direction. After about 2 miles on the trail, and on a clear day you can see the Salton Sea, and most of the Coachella Valley. The views of La Quinta and the hills and rocks of the area are beautiful. On this trail, you feel isolated from the hustle and bustle of the valley below.
As you continue to climb up this trail, the views get better and better. At the 4 mile mark, you will find a massive oasis tucked into the end of the canyon. This is where we ate lunch before starting back down the trail. This is about a 3 or 4 hour hike, and is rather Strenuous. If you haven’t hiked much, or if you are out of shape, save this one until you have hiked some of the other trails on this web page.