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Dog-friendly Hikes in Greater Palm Springs

Hiking with your dog provides a myriad of physical and mental benefits, both for you and your canine companion. And in the Greater Palm Springs area, there is no shortage of amazing outdoor spots to take your four-legged friend to.

Whitewater Preserve

9160 Whitewater Canyon Road, Whitewater

Located in Riverside County, the Whitewater Preserve boasts 2,851 acres of picturesque trails, sparkling lakes, and spectacular rock formations. Bring your dog with you as you traverse the 3.6-mile Whitewater Canyon Loop Trail, one of the trails found here. It offers stunning views, a scenic lake, and gorgeous wildflowers. The 190-meter elevation gain also makes for a moderately challenging hike.

The entire loop takes around three hours to complete, so make sure to bring enough water and food for you and your dog when hiking. Dogs must also be leashed at all times.

The Whitewater Preserve is located off Interstate 10. The best way to get to the Whitewater Canyon Loop Trail is to enter the road before the bridge.

Mission Creek Preserve

60550 Mission Creek Road, Desert Hot Springs

Known for being one of the most popular dog-friendly spots in Greater Palm Springs, the Mission Creek Preserve offers a variety of trails for hikers and their furry buddies. The 5.1-kilometer Mission Creek Preserve Trail is where you’ll spot deer, sheep, and other wildlife. Much of the trail is flat, with grassy areas that serve as great resting spots. Dogs must be leashed here at all times.

The trailhead of this scenic path can be found at the end of Mission Creek Road.

Cap Homme/ Ralph Adams Park

72500 Thrush Road, Palm Desert

The Cap Homme/ Ralph Adams Park is a 27-acre green space that boasts multi-use trails and scenic picnic areas. One of its many walking paths is the Homestead Trail. Also known as the Cross Hike, this trail leads to an open area at the foot of the mountain that has plenty of space for your dog to explore.

While there is a designated off-leash area for dogs, hikers must leash their dogs while using the trail itself.

Bradshaw Trail Plateau

Southeastern Riverside County

Situated in the southern part of California, the historic Bradshaw Trail offers spectacular views of the Orocopia Mountains, the Chuckwalla Bench, and the Palo Verde Valley. This easy-to-moderate 10-mile trail takes around 4 to 5 hours to complete, with a 150-feet elevation gain. It promises to give you and your dog a good workout on top of the scenic vistas. But do make sure your canine buddy is leashed at all times. Also, be sure not to enter the bombing range located in a section of the Bradshaw Trail toward the south.

To get to the Bradshaw Trail, take Highway 111 going south. Continue along the All-American Canal until you see the trailhead on your right.

Reminders on safety protocols when hiking with your dog

Make sure to adhere to state-imposed protective measures when out hiking with your dog. Among these measures is maintaining a six-foot distance from other people. Keep on the path or side that has the least amount of people. And while it’s challenging to say no, it’s best not to allow others outside of your household to pet your dog as the latter is also said to be capable of getting infected.

Learn more about the Greater Palm Springs area and what it has to offer by working with me, Kathleen O’ Keefe Galigher. Give me a call today at 760.567.7822 or send me a note here.

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