manip_sl765The South Lykken Trail is one of my favorite trails in the Palm Springs area. It is about a 3.5 mile roundtrip hike of moderate difficulty, with a beginning elevation of 560′, and an elevation gain of about 900′. On this trail you will be treated to wonderful views of Palm Springs, Mt. San Jacinto, and the Coachella Valley.

Dogs and Hiking

As of August of 2019 dogs are now prohibited all year on the Museum Trail, South Lykken Trail, North Lykken Trail and Araby Trail. Palm Springs city staff will warn and educate first-time violators, but anyone caught a second time could face fines of up to $500.

Directions to the South Lykken traihead: The north end of this trail starts at the end of Mesquite Road. You will have to park down by Palm Canyon and walk to the trailhead. There is a Tahquitz Canyon visitors at the end of the road, but you cannot park there if you are hiking the South Lykken Trail. As you walk up Mesquite you will pass a mobile home park on the left, and a big house on the right. Continue up the road, and the trailhead is right where the road turns right toward the Visitors Center.

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 trail!

The south end of this trail is accessed by going up South Palm Canyon Drive about 1 1/2 miles south of Highway 111. You know you are there when you pass the last of the condos and houses on the right just before the open fields.

Park along the curb and proceed up the right-hand side of the dyke to the trailhead (there is a sign pointing the direction.

This is one of my favorite trails. It was the first trail I hiked in Palm Springs. There are picnic tables at both north and south end of this trail (although the tables at the north end have been vandalized several times so be prepared for no tables…). We usually start and the north end of this trail and climb up to the picnic tables at the top of the trail. This is a moderate hike, and will take you about 40-45 minutes at a medium pace. From there, you can turn around and go back, or continue on to the south end of the trail (If you do this, leave a shuttle car at the south end of the trail). If you choose to do this the trail is mostly downhill from the picnic tables if you are going from the north end to the south end, and the hike will take about two hours. Sometimes to make the hike a little more difficult we will start at the south end and hike to the north end.

When you hike the north end of this trail, you will be rewarded with fantastic views of Palm Springs, the Coachella Valley, and down into Tahquitz Canyon. If you have never hiked in the Palm Springs area, do this one first. You will not be sorry you did.

Start your hike on the south end of the South Lykken

If you want you can hike just the south end of the South Lykken Trail from South Palm Canyon Drive and hike to the picnic tables on that end of the trail. You will follow South Palm Canyon to a little after it intersects with Murray Drive and park along the street in a safe place. There are signs leading you to the trail near the houses on the right. This is a moderate hike of about two miles.

Map of the South Lykken Trail hike

Here is a GPS map of the South Lykken Trail hike from the parking area on Mesquite Road to the picnic tables and a little beyond, and another track from the south end of the trail where you begin on South Palm Canyon Drive and hike up to the picnic tables. Of course if you want you can leave a car on either end of the trail and hike the complete trail which isn’t shown in this track.