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Skyline Trail to 4000 ft
  • Palm Springs Art Museum
  • Palm Springs, CA 92262

Even experienced hikers break a sweat on the Skyline Trail, part of the infamous yet insanely rewarding Cactus to Clouds trek that climbs more than 10,000 feet (the greatest elevation gain of any trail in the United States) from the city of Palm Springs to San Jacinto Peak. Though still steep and strenuous, this 8.4-mile out-and-back section is a bit more manageable for the average adventurer. After parking on the paved street, set out from the trailhead behind the Palm Springs Art Museum and follow signs for the Museum Trail until reaching a rest area with picnic tables. Stay right until about .93 miles in, where you’ll turn left onto Skyline and continue climbing to almost 4,000 feet. From here, the views of Greater Palm Springs can’t be beat. Pro tip: Many hikers depart before dawn (some as early as 2 a.m.!) so they can reach the stopping point and admire the scenery just as the sun begins to rise. As fun as it is fitness-oriented, the trail still poses a serious threat of injury or death; dogs, bikes, and horses are prohibited, and extra precautions, including ample water and sturdy shoes, are a must.

Total Distance: 8.4 miles

Level: Difficult

Hiking Features
  • Distance (mi): 8.4
  • Distance (km): 13.5
  • Difficulty Score: 27
  • Route Type: Out and back
  • Elevation at Trailhead: 473
  • Elevation Gain (+): 3749
  • Elevation Loss (-): 3749
  • Net Elev +/- (ft): 3749
  • Net Elev +/- (m): 1143
  • Minimum Elevation: 474
  • Maximum Elevation: 3996
  • Elevation Change-lowest point to highest point ft: 3522
  • Parking Type: Paved street
  • Location: San Jacinto Mountains
  • Sub-Location: Palm Springs West/Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument
  • Picnic Tables:
  • 6 - 10 Miles:
  • Free:
Trail Length
  • 6 - 10 Miles:
Palm Springs Art Museum
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