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Home to deep valleys, soaring mountains, rustling palm trees and everything in between, Palm Desert’s varied landscape makes it the perfect playground for outdoor adventure. From mountain biking and hiking trails to hot air balloon rides – plus acres of recreational parks great for all sorts of sports and activities – there’s no wrong way to discover Palm Desert’s outdoor treasures.

Some of our favorite hiking trails

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  • The Hopalong Cassidy Trail, named for the famous role of one the most well-known residents in Palm Desert’s history, Western actor William Boyd. Dedicated in 2004, this city-maintained trail features an easy climb or ride, plus plenty of picturesque spots to stop along the way.
  • The Randall Henderson Trail, offering explorers a moderate challenge, making it a great introduction to desert hiking. Mountain views, numerous opportunities to spot native wildlife and a variety of desert vegetation make this trail the perfect desert excursion.
  • The Art Smith Trail, a more vigorous path offering your choice of shorter or longer hikes and rides amongst lush foliage and several palm oases. From here, head a bit further into the wild and take a trek in the beautiful Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.
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City Parks in Palm Desert

From Palm Desert’s Civic Center Park – featuring 72 acres of fields, courts, paths, public art, an amphitheater and three swimming pools – to community parks throughout the city, Palm Desert takes its parks seriously. Palm Desert city parks include:
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  • Cahuilla Hills Park: The starting for many Palm Desert hiking trails, this natural park offers tennis and much more.
  • Cap Homme / Ralph Adams Park: Located in south Palm Desert, you’ll find hiking trails and more here.
  • Civic Center Park: Palm Desert’s largest park offers something for everyone – including the Palm Desert Aquatic Center, an amphitheater, sports fields, skate parks, dog parks, a rose garden, picnic areas and more.
  • Cook Street Sports Complex: Baseball and softball fields are the highlight of this sports-oriented park.
  • Freedom Park: Tennis, volleyball, basketball and soccer are just a few of the sports you can play at this spacious park.
  • Hovley Soccer Park: Full-sized fields and plenty of equipment make this the perfect place for soccer players and fans.
  • Ironwood Park: Scenic views and walking paths make this park at the edge of town a lovely place to relax.
  • Joe Mann Park: Take your pooch to the dog park or enjoy the interactive water feature at this community park.
  • Magnesia Falls City Park: Picnic or play at this community park behind Palm Desert Middle School.
  • Palma Village Park: Playgrounds, courts and paths are just a few of the amenities at this central Palm Desert park.
  • University Neighborhood Park & Dog Park: Visit this new Palm Desert park for a pet-friendly good time.
  • Washington Charter School Park: Open to the public when classes are out, this park includes open fields and a tot lot.
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Joshua Tree National Park

This vast national park is nearly 800,000 acres full of lively wildlife and numerous plant species. This land has been shaped by strong winds, sparse rainfall and extreme climate exposure. One can enjoy the beauties of a day hike, the adventure of rock climbing or excitement of landscape photography.

Morning Patio Talks

Join a ranger every day on the patios outside various visitor centers for a short talk about one of the many fascinating aspects of this desert park.
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Evening Programs

Join a ranger every Friday and Saturday evening for a presentation beneath the stars including a presentation of the parks natural and cultural history.
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Mastodon Peak Hike

Join a ranger every Sunday on this beginner 3-mile Mastodon Peak Hike. See some great wildlife while hearing of the park’s early mining history.
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Key’s Ranch Tours

Explore the colorful nature and numerous artifacts of this historical location every Sunday morning. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
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