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The Cross Loop
  • Cahuilla Hills Park
  • Palm Desert, CA 92260

The Cross Loop Trail in Palm Desert has become a local landmark. Hikers, bikers, and their leashed pups make the 2.7-mile trek through the lower reaches of the Santa Rosa Mountains for Instagram-worthy pics with a giant lit-up cross, which can be seen for miles when illuminating the night sky. You’ll also be treated to stunning vistas of the palm trees, swimming pools, and golf courses below (sunrise and sunset offer the best lighting but prepare for heavier foot traffic on the trail). Though known for its views of the valley, the Cross Loop Trail only gains 600 feet in elevation and is a great day hike for families — be sure to check out the picnic tables, barbecue pits, and restrooms at Cahuilla Hills Park, where the trail system begins, for a pre- or post-hike break. The park also features pickleball and tennis courts for additional play, as well as free parking. Once you’ve reached the trailhead, take the Gabby Hayes route for approximately 1.2 miles before turning right on Hopalong Cassidy, which leads to the grand finale. The return route via the Homestead Trail will connect you with the city’s Homme Adams Park; turn left at the wash to head back to your car.

Total Distance: 2.7 miles

Level: Moderate

Hiking Features
  • Distance (mi): 2.7
  • Distance (km): 4.3
  • Difficulty Score: 13
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Elevation at Trailhead: 327
  • Elevation Gain (+): 674
  • Elevation Loss (-): 972
  • Net Elev +/- (ft): 298
  • Net Elev +/- (m): 972
  • Minimum Elevation: 327
  • Maximum Elevation: 1031
  • Elevation Change-lowest point to highest point ft: 704
  • Parking Type: Paved lot
  • Location: Northern Santa Rosa Mountains
  • Sub-Location: Palm Desert/Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument
  • Dogs Allowed:
  • Bikes Allowed:
  • Restrooms:
  • Picnic Tables:
  • 1 - 5 Miles:
  • Free:
Trail Length
  • 1 - 5 Miles:
Cahuilla Hills Park
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