Sunday, February 22, 2009

Twelve Circles

Day Fifty Three
Palm Springs averages about three hundred and fifty sunny days per year.  Today was one of the other fifteen.  It didn't rain nor was it windy.  It was just overcast, a perfect day for hiking.

I headed over to the Garstin Trail, which I have used several times to climb Murray Hill.  It's a great hike that offers what I think is the best view in Palm Springs.  A few years ago, when I was in better shape, I made it from the trailhead to the summit in under an hour.  Unfortunately, I am not in that kind of shape now and my time is somewhat limited so I'll be taking a different route today.

There's a nice, new, fancy sign on the trail.  I've never done the Henderson Trail.  I'll have to do that some day.

The Garstin Trail gains elevation pretty rapidly and you can quickly see what kind of views of the San Jacinto Mountains this hike offers.

I can look up and see Murray Hill.  It is the tallest point but will have to wait for another day when I have more time and maybe am in a bit better shape.

I come to my first trail junction and have to decide which way to go.  The Wildhorse Trail and Clara Burgess will lead me to Murray Hill but I decide to go the Shannon and Berns route instead.

A not so new trail sign for the Berns Trail.

Just off the Berns Trail is this large rock monument on the top of an unnamed little peak.

Looking down, I spot these rock circles on the hill.

Going down for a closer look, I have no idea what they are here for.  They could be some kind of shrine or some sort of solar compass or just something built by someone who has way more time than I do.  I count them and find eleven.

After leaving the rock circles, I can see the Bob Hope House and all the other homes on the hill below it.

The Shannon Trail is on a very narrow ridge which is steep on all sides.  

After dropping down rather quickly, I come to the Henderson Trail and it's not at all new trail sign.  I guess today will be the day I hike this trail for my first time.  This trail is obviously quite popular with the equestrian set.  I see more hoof prints and horse crap than I have ever seen on a trail.

And there are far more hoof prints in the wash below.

I really enjoyed doing this loop.  You get some great views and some good exercise.  And while I didn't have time to build a little rock circle, I did manage to do my own circle around the mountain.  I'll let that be my shrine in footprints.

1 comment:

Eric said...

I've heard that unnamed hill refereed to as Smoketree Hill pretty regularly. I took a pano from the top of the rocks there once and there is a geocache nearby.