January 7, 2009
There are few people who know more about the local trails than I do. For ten years I ran a hiking shop here in the desert and was able to meet hundreds of hikers. Anytime I spoke to someone about a hike I'd never done, it would go on my list of "to do" hikes and I go do it. One type of hike is conspicuously absent, however, from my repertoire: easy hikes. There are a few easy hikes I have never done because I've always been looking for something challenging, exciting, unexplored. Now with the challenge being to hike every day, I have been wondering what I've missed by overlooking these little hikes. So today I decide to take a little hike to Willis Palms in the Coachella Valley Preserve. Was I in for a surprise.
Here's the map for the hike I planned on doing. The hike I ended up doing is NOWHERE on this map.
Before going directly to Willis Palms I decide to follow the trail shown on the map. It heads to the right up a wash and then hits a trail that goes up a ridge, and up, and up, and up.
After unexpectedly hiking a few miles and gaining over a thousand feet, I come to the top of this unnamed peak and this little monument.
There are some great views of Mount San Jacinto and the Coachella Valley from up here.
And it looks like the trail continues down the backside of the mountain and over toward the McCallum Grove. I'll have to come back and explore this further but today I have to get back to a special event at my son's school.
On the way down, I stop at the Willis Palms. Looks like a nice spot for a picnic.
They've even got a nice place to tie up your pony.
While this did not end up being the easy hike that I'd envisioned, it was still very enjoyable and one I look forward to returning to very soon. I can't wait to see where the trail ends up going and what other discoveries I've been missing due to my avoidance of easy hikes. I can't wait to find out what else I've been missing