Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
2,436.00 ft (742.49 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
8.70 mi (14.00 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

South Lykken Trail is an 8.7-mile out-and-back hike in Palm Springs, California. The trail ascends the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains and provides panoramic views of Palm Springs and Santa Rosa National Monument. This trail features steep sections at the beginning and end, followed by moderate terrain in the middle. The trail is open to trail runners, hikers, backpackers, and horseback riders. 

Once you have found street parking, proceed up West Mesquite Avenue. There are trail signs and information at the South Lykken Trailhead, which is located where the road runs into the base of the mountains. 

Start climbing up the exposed switchbacks of the rocky mountainside from the trailhead.  A sandy flat spot with multiple picnic tables and incredible views awaits you after 1.5 miles at Josie Johnson Vista Park. 

The trail descends to South Palm Canyon Drive after about three miles. From the road, turn around, climb back up the trail you just came down, and retrace your steps back to the trailhead where you began.  

VEGETATION AND WILDLIFE

The trail is lined with native desert plants, including creosote and cacti, and it is an important habitat for bighorn sheep. Visitors may even be fortunate enough to see a glimpse of these rare creatures during their visit. 

CONSIDERATIONS

  • The trail is mostly exposed with little to no shade or water. 

PARKING

Street parking is available on the south side of South Palm Canyon Drive on East Mesquite Avenue (be sure to read street signs carefully wherever you park and pay attention to local regulations and restrictions). 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Winter
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Singletrack Trail. Scenic Views.

Cons

Highway sounds. No water.

Trailhead Elevation

551.00 ft (167.94 m)

Highest point

1,537.00 ft (468.48 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Historically significant
Wildlife
Waterfalls
Big vistas
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.