2.0 miles (4 miles round-trip)
Beginning Elevation 740'
Elevation Gain 760'
Round trip hiking time about 2 hours ( depending on how much you stop to enjoy the views
The Garstin Trail immediately goes uphill, and winds up Smoke Tree Mountain with a series of switch backs. It rises to a plateau connecting with the Shannon, Berns, Wild Horse, and Eagle Canyon Trails. It offers magnificent panoramic views of the Canyon Country Club area, the San Jacinto and and Little San Bernardino Mountains, and Palm Canyon and Palm Springs. Once at the top you are also rewarded with great views of Cathedral City, and the eastern Coachella Valley.
At the top of the Garstin Trail ( elevation 15,22 feet ), there is a trail junction that can connect you with the trails mentioned above, as well with the Wild Horse Trail which can be used to climb Murray Hill (elevation 2,210 feet ), the highest peak in the immediate area. The Murray Hill hike is strenuous, but well worth it. To get to Murray Hill, follow the Garstin to the junction of the Wild Horse Trail (the junction is shortly after you reach the plateau of Smoke Tree Mountain at the top of the Garstin...). Take the Wild Horse Trail and follow the trailheads that lead you to the Clara Burgess Trail. You will keep to the left when you reach the junction of the Wild Horse and the Fern Canyon Trail, and follow that trail up to the top of Murray Hill. It is a hard hike, but well worth it, as you are rewarded with fantastic views of the Coachella Valley from the top of Murray Hill.
Garstin Trail Photo Gallery
To get to the Garstin Trail, take Palm Canyon Drive South to Bogert Trail. Turn left on Bogert Trail and follow it to the bridge that crosses the wash. Park in the little street to the left just after the bridge. The trailhead is located at the end of that short street.
Map of parking area and trailhead.
Palm Springs Trail Guide
This is by far the best guide to hiking in the Palm Springs area!
Hiking Books For Palm Springs
Philip Ferranti's books on hiking in Palm Springs, the Coachella Valley and surrounding areas are a must have if you are planning on hiking in the area. Amazon.com also has several other books that will make your hiking adventure a great one, including books on hiking and rock climbing in Joshua Tree National Park.
Hiking In Palm Springs Disclaimer
Any outdoor recreation can be potentially hazardous, and hiking is no exception. All participants must assume responsibility for their own actions and safety, exercise sound judgment, and be prepared for and seek advice on weather and trail conditions.
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