Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Goat Trails Loop (Palm Springs, CA) - 12/12/14

Palm Springs Overlook

Murray Hill in Silhouette

 "Goat Trails" is what Google Earth calls this area of Palm Springs located south of Highway 111 with one trailhead at Palm Hills Drive. There are many trails in these hills and they are all named after people. The trails are used by hikers and bikers for exercise. The particular trail described by this entry is a hodgepodge of trails that we took to make a nice 4 mile loop with a considerable amount of elevation gain on a short winter afternoon after half a day of desert rain.

Post Rain View
 During our search for another trailhead, we comically ended up at the top of Araby Drive where our 5 car caravan had to make a U-turn on a one-way road. A nice man came out of his house to help us with directions but we decided to go to Palm Hills Drive where we knew we could find the trails. We'll save that other hike for another day.

Arriving at the Top of the First Hill

 So, finally at a known trailhead, the first thing we saw was a gate with THREE no trespassing signs on it! Hmmm. Foiled again ... no wait ... there go a couple of hikers past the gate. As it turned out, the signs seemed only to apply to cars as this road leads to water tanks and quarried rocks above. Our hike with sixteen club members finally got underway and we began a steep climb up the road. All around us, the skies were filled with beautiful post-rain clouds especially over the nearby 10,000 foot mountains. By the end of the hike, these mountains were getting dumped with snow.

Dropping Down for a Canyon View
 From the top of the hill, we stayed on the road a little longer then turned onto a trail to our right. This trail took us down along a deep canyon filled with palm trees. Next, we climbed up to a trail junction sign that had Clara Burgess Trail going one way and Janes Hoffbrau Trail going another.

Canyon View

 We continued up the hill then looped around as the sun began to set. Eventually, we dropped back down to the road at a place just before we had turned off to the right. Next, we took a short trail out to an overlook as seen in the first photo. From here, a short "around the block" trail took us down and up and back to the initial hill climb on the road. We turned left and descended back to the cars. Scenery was amazing as we watched airplanes landing at the valley airport.

4 miles; 1100 feet elevation gain; 2 hours

Sun Setting on the Goat Trails

Descending Back Down to the Trailhead

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