Hiked November 6 and 7, 2022. Been too long since I last posted, and I have many hikes and trips to blog. Just a little tricky with my schedule. THese hikes were from last week.
Hiked on consecutive days. On this trip, I stayed at the Travelodge in Palm Springs, a bit north of downtown. The trailheads are no more than two miles from the motel, just off of East Palm Canyon Drive (CA-11B).
On the afternoon of the 6th, I left the motel and headed "south" on CA-111B, East Palm Canyon Drive (on this segment the road travels west to east). Turned right (south) on Araby Drive. Using google maps to reach the trailhead as indicated on alltrails.com, I was informed that I had arrived shortly after crossing the sandy wash. This was about 2/3 of a mile from CA-111B.
I parked off the left side of the road, and saw a trail marker on the opposite side of the road. This is the Henderson Trail. Followed those signs briefly through the sandy wash (Palm Canyon Creek), as it worked its way around a private holding, then followed the trail out of the wash and across the pavement (I believe that's Landsdale Road).
There were both occupied homes and old ruins of homes within view of the trail. After about 3/4 of a mile, a sign for the Shannon Trail split up hill. That was the way to Cahuilla Peak. Tops off at about 1522 feet, or about 1200 feet above the starting point.
The earlier portion of the trail provides views to the north. The massive Bob Hope house is visible once you get a clear view to the east. After significant climbing, you reach a crest, and a junction with the Berns trail. A bit northeast here takes to you the peak. A stack of rocks marks the summit.
For my return, I took the Berns trail southwest, soon connecting with the Garstin trail, then eventually reconnecting with the Henderson trail, just before reaching the residential areas below. The Henderson trail runs up and down some as it stays in the volcanic hills rather than running along the wash bottom. About five miles for this loop.
The next morning, before driving home, I decided to explore this area from the other side. I took the Araby trail, which is another way up to Cahuilla Peak. Confusingly, however, you don't take Araby Road to this trailhead. Instead, you stay on 111B about 1/3 of a mile past Araby Road. Immediatey after crossing the bridge over Palm Creek Canyon, make a right. There'll be a green road sign saying Southridge/Rim (Drive), and also have a brown sign saying "Hiking Trail." Immediately after turning right, a small parking area, large enough for 12-15 vehicles, will be on your right.
From the parking area, another "Hiking Trail" sign will send you briefly up Southridge Road, before the trail shoots off, on the left side (if you're facing uphill) of the road.
This trail runs above a lot of mobile homes on your left, and larger permanent homes on your right. It's private property on either side, so stay on the trail and respect the privacy and property of trail neighbors.
This trail runs up the canyon on the opposite side from the Bob Hope house, before eventually placing you right south of the house. From this angle, a large water tank behind the home is obvious, as is a putting green with several sand traps on the west side of the house (not visible from west, due to foliage).
The Araby trail hits the Berns trail at the ridge, and the Berns trail heads west, to Cahuilla Peak. Perhaps slightly longer to the summit than via the Henderson, Shannon, and Berns trail, but shorter than the return via the Berns, Garstin and Henderson trails. Large portions of both trails are within the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.
I suspect the trail is mainly used by locals, but plenty of tourists to Palm Springs are also there for the outdoor recreation. On the Sunday afternoon and Monday monrning that I hiked, there were usually other hikers or joggers within view, but the views were expansive, so it definitely didn't feel crowded. Good climb, but not very long, so not that strenuous, at least not when the weather is temperate.
Note that dogs are not permitted on the trail within the national monument boundaries.