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Five-Star Trails Palm Springs
by Laura Randall (Menasha Ridge Press)
The South Lykken Trail is the south half of the 9.5-mile Carl Lykken Trail, which weaves along a series of mountain ridges above downtown Palm Springs. The north and south trails are separated by Tahquitz Canyon, so you can’t easily do them as one hike. The South Lykken Trail is a terrific moderate hike featuring panoramic views of the desert valley and a bird’s-eye view of Tahquitz Canyon’s waterfalls and rock formations.
Afoot and Afield: Inland Empire
by David & Jennifer Money Harris (Wilderness Press)
The South Lykken Trail features a spectacular overlook from the curving lip of Tahquitz Canyon and also offers great views of the jets coming and going below you at Palm Springs International Airport. This trip can be done as a one-way hike. If you haven’t arranged a car or bicycle shuttle, you can make a loop by taking a somewhat unpleasant 2.5-mile walk back on the shoulder of Palm Canyon Dr. For an out-and-back alternative, hike the first 3 miles to the dramatic Josie Johnson Vista, then retrace your steps, or descend the side trail midway and walk back along Palm Canyon Dr.1
Best Easy Day Hikes: Palm Springs and Coachella Valley
by Bruce Grubbs (Falcon Guides)
Starting from the north end of the South Carl Lykken Trail, you can hike to a point with a view of Tahquitz Falls, and also to a picnic area on the ridge above the falls. Of all the trails in the San Jacinto foothills, this hike offers some of the best views of Palm Springs.
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