Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
825.00 ft (251.46 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
5.10 mi (8.21 km)
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The Indio Hills Badlands trail is a 5.1 mile loop path that heads into the landscape north of Indio, varying between wide sandy washes, narrow slot canyons, and winding hilltop rambling with views across the whole of the Coachella Valley area.

Beginning in a parking area immediately off the road, the trail passes through a golf course before heading across the sandy plateau while approaching the hilly landscape to the north. Trail markers line the path, making the route clear and easy to follow, even when the path twists and winds through the surprisingly dense network of narrow canyons enountered upon reaching the stone hills. It almost feels like navigating a serpentine labyrinth, with a lot of climbing, descending, squeezing and curving. 

When reaching the wide wash on the north side of the rocks, the amazing geologic formations stack and push toward the sky. The trail winds back, climbing to meet the peaks, offering a wide panoramic view across the valley and over the urban area.

From here, the trail heads back down a wash and eventually back to the early portion of trail, retracing the course back to the trailhead.

This trail should not be attempted if there is any risk of high rain or flash flooding.

There are no amenities of any kind along the trail or at the trailhead. Depending on the time of day, there may be very little shade on this hike. Be prepared.

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Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Easy access from urban area. Excellent views.

Cons

Very little shade.

Trailhead Elevation

30.00 ft (9.14 m)

Highest point

530.00 ft (161.54 m)

Features

Big vistas
Geologically significant

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Biking
Horseback

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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