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Tahquitz Canyon



1.8 mile 2.9 kilometer loop
88% Runnable


Ascent: 316' 96 m
Descent: -316' -96 m
High: 881' 269 m
Low: 592' 180 m


Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 18% (10°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by Eric Ashley

Enjoy a peaceful 1.8 mile loop through a dramatic desert canyon.

Eric Ashley

Features River/Creek · Views · Waterfall

Hours and dates vary seasonally and there is an entrance fee for each visitor. For more information, click here. Watch out for rattlesnakes.


This delightful loop travels through a dramatic desert landscape on a narrow rocky trail. The destination is a 60-foot seasonal waterfall that spills into a quiet alcove. Even if you don't catch the water, the canyon floor is littered with boulders and small scenes that make for an interesting trail experience.

Need to Know

The visitor center offers a small collection of displays, an observation deck, and a video presentation. There are typically a few ranger-led runs through the morning and early afternoon.

Runner Notes

Plenty of rocks and narrow sections provide interesting terrain. However, the entrance fee and potential for bottlenecks may make this a poor place to run.


After exiting the Tahquitz Canyon Visitor Center, the rocky singletrack climbs gradually across a wide drainage as it works towards a small creek with a low, picturesque rock bridge. From there, the trail switchbacks up along the edge of the canyon with occasional stone steps leading the way.

Runners will work around plenty of scattered boulders and start to get a nice framed view of Palm Springs back down the canyon. All the while the towering walls provide a dramatic backdrop of stone and shrubs. You may encounter visitors traveling the other direction, which can make for slightly awkward passing, especially higher up as the trail nears the waterfall.

You'll know you're getting close when the narrow trail starts passing beneath low trees. If you're lucky enough to catch it when it's flowing, the waterfall sets a lovely scene as it runs down a weathered rock wall to drop in a shallow pool of water. Across another low bridge, the singletrack continues climbing up the other side of the canyon before dropping down on the return. About 0.3 miles later it connects back to itself. Head right to the next junction where a short run on Tahquitz Canyon Alternate concludes back at the visitor center.


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  4.4 from 5 votes
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125 Views Last Month
2,666 Since Jan 26, 2018



Looking back into Palm Springs from Tahquitz Canyon.
Jan 26, 2018 near Palm Sp…, CA
Lookout rock named Kak Wa Wit at the mouth of Tahquitz Canyon
Mar 6, 2019 near Palm Sp…, CA
Peering up to the top from the base of the falls in January.
Jan 26, 2018 near Palm Sp…, CA
Heed the sign.
Jan 26, 2018 near Palm Sp…, CA
Finishing up the loop through Tahquitz Canyon.
Jan 26, 2018 near Palm Sp…, CA
A narrow benching and lots of rocks give the trail a nice wild feel without being overly taxing.
Jan 26, 2018 near Palm Sp…, CA