Monday, March 30, 2009

It's LICK-in, not LIKE-in.


Carl Lykken was a Palm Springs pioneer. He came to the desert and partnered in a general store in 1913. He brought the town its first telephone and first post office of which he was the postmaster from 1927-1930. A trail honoring him runs almost the entire length of the city of Palm Springs. The trail has two sections and three trailheads. I hiked on the South Lykken and started off of Mesquite Drive, near the Tahquitz Canyon Visitor's Center.

To access the trail, turn off of Highway 111 onto Mesquite Drive and head toward the mountains. While the trailhead is near the Tahquitz Canyon Visitor's Center, there is no trail parking there. You have to park on the street on Mesquite and walk up about 1/4 mile to the trail.

If you want to visit Tahquitz Canyon, it's $12.50. If you've never been there, it is probably worth the money. I've been but I'll probably take the kids one day once we save up enough cans and bottles to be able to pay for it. The admission includes a guided tour so you can learn about the history of the canyon and see some archaeological sites.

As with all Desert Riders trails, there is a nice sign at the trailhead.

After heading up the trail a bit, you are able to look back and see the Visitor's Center. There are only a couple of exhibits and some fake Indian trinkets for sale at the Center but it's probably worth ten minutes of your time.

The trail switchbacks up the hill and, while it is never really very steep, gains elevation fairly quickly.

You get very nice views from the trail looking south toward the Indian Canyons.

A little higher up you get to a spot where you can look directly into Tahquitz Canyon. Don't get too enamored with the view, however, because if you make a wrong step here, it's straight down a few hundred feet.

The highlight of Tahquitz Canyon is Tahquitz Falls. It's about 60 feet tall and has a large pool at the base although you can't see that from here.

By rotating 180ยบ, I get a very nice view of Palm Springs.

At the high point of the trail are these nice picnic tables. There are a number of tables on various Desert Riders trails but these are the nicest.

Thanks to the Coachella Valley Hiking Club.

The area is named for Josie Johnson but I have no idea who that is. The trail continues on to its southern terminus near Murray Canyon Drive but this is a good turn around point. Unless you have a car shuttle, you will need to walk a couple of miles on the sidewalk to return to your car. If I enjoyed walking on sidewalks, I'd be doing the Bump and Grind.

On the way down, you can look over and see the North Lykken Trail that leads the Skyline and the Museum Trail. But that'll have to wait for another day.


Anonymous said...

Hi Hal,

I'm one of the Canadian gals you met on this hike. I just wanted to tell you I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog. It has given me many more hiking destination ideas if I ever come back this way. While I was here I also hiked Fern Canyon and 49 Palms. They are great hikes too and I'm going to check and see if you've written about them yet.

Sarah "Raindog Brit" Hodgson

Hal Summers said...

I haven't done Fern Canyon or 49 Palms this year but they are on my list!

It was nice to meet you on the trail and thanks for the geocaching info. My kids loved doing that.