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Palm Canyon Trail (from Springcrest)

 4.6 (13)

12.8 Miles 20.6 Kilometers



206' 63 m


-3,108' -947 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (11°)

4,358' 1,328 m


1,454' 443 m


Shared By Paul Rogers


All Clear 12 days ago
Dry - Very dry and dusty History

Getting forecast...

This rugged trail will challenge you to the core!! An Epic that some call a death march...

Paul Rogers

Dogs Unknown

Features -none-

There are cattle grazing boundary gates, please keep them closed!

This trail is best ridden from October through May, at the latest. This area gets 110 degree summers that tap into spring and fall as well. Please check weather conditions prior to riding.

At the bottom of the trail you HAVE TO make a right and climb out "dry wash". Palm Canyon Trail is off-limits from here (Sovereign Indian Land). They have there own laws, and GUNS!


This is a brutal trail that is incredibly rewarding. It is super chunky technical the whole way down! An Incredible trail with cliff hugging precariousness, skinny rocky heart-pumping pick sections, lumpy crazy rock-gardens, brash and natural boulder kicker launchpads, loose, sandy, squirrelly bike-surfing, and back again. From high up on ridge lines, to deep down in canyons, this trail has all the elements. Be prepared to be blown away, literally and metaphorically! (it can be gale force windy here too)

Need to Know

This is a shuttle ride. It's recommended to leave a car on hwy 111 and Date Palm Dr. Park at the top on hwy.74 and Pine View Dr. There are several places to stage a car at the bottom depending on which option you decide to finish out the ride.

I strongly recommend bringing a GPS and having this trail downloaded to the MTB Project MTB Project mobile app! The trail has very few markings and plenty of false turns, so be prepared. When you ride about a mile or two from the start, you'll get some great views of the desert floor. Take a moment to get your bearings, because you'll be looking down a huge canyon (nice work!).

Three essential ingredients you'll need to complete this ride: water, water, and WATER!! It can go from bone chilling to roasting hot between the top and bottom of this ride. Goatheads, pinchflats and massive burp-outs will definitely cut into your saddle time. Whatever your preference, BRING TUBES!!


Look for the trailhead at the end of Pine View Dr., it'll be on the right. At the ~3.5 mile mark you dump into a creek bed. Take a sharp left and you'll soon pick back up the trail downstream. Do not take the trail that branches to the right! Palm Canyon Trail is prone to washouts, so keep your eyes peeled and use your instincts. When in doubt, keep going downstream. At mile ~8.8, you'll merge onto a doubletrack section that can be deceptively hard to find when the trails washed out, look for a few lines that climb up out of the wash. It's up over that embankment.

Indian Potrero Trail has been closed periodically, requiring a detour (stay right on the doubletrack). This is also an option for the novice rider as there are some very technical sections! Either way, it ends up at the "dry wash" climb and the half way point of the trail. This is where Palm Canyon Trail ends and the a sand wash climb begins. There are many options from this point, but the ride isn't over at mile 12. You have a minimum of 8 more miles of riding at this junction, no matter how you cut it.

In the case of an EMERGENCY only, the Indian canyon gift shop (and help) is about 4 miles from the junction of dry wash and palm canyon going downhill. This is a NO BIKES area so be prepared to tell your emergency story and pay the park entry fees if confronted. The chief doesn't like bikes, but he is reasonable if you are respectful to him.

History & Background

This trail skirts National Forest, BLM, National Monument, wilderness preserve, and Tribal lands. It is also Bighorn Sheep territory! It is imperative that you represent the MTB community as having the utmost respect for others. Please pack it out! This is my back yard. Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions or need any tips.


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Your Check-Ins


Mar 13, 2018
Alex Rodriguez
Feb 25, 2018
Ruben Lopez
Jan 20, 2018
Simon Paez
Oct 21, 2017
Deborah Powers
Mar 18, 2017
Anders Lind
Highly recommend Crazy Bear shuttle. This ride was as fantastic as I remember it from 7 years ago when I last did it. Amazing nature 30mi — 6h 00m
Mar 2, 2017
Tone NoBalone
Jan 14, 2017
Jim Dover
Jan 8, 2017
TRACEY Channel
Awesome ride! Everything I expected and more. Used crazy bear shuttle, they were excellent!

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 13 votes


  4.6 from 13 votes
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in California


695 Views Last Month
13,271 Since May 5, 2014
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

Mark Warrick
Newport Beach, CA
Mark Warrick   Newport Beach, CA
Warning: This route as shown is incomplete. If you don't know where you're going, don't rely upon these maps. Dec 28, 2015
TJ Pope
Oceanside, ca
TJ Pope   Oceanside, ca
Water, water water! Take more water than you think! Check the weather. I wouldn’t do this trail if the high is above 85. Rode this trail last weekend in 96 degree heat. Dumb decision. Ran out of water and bonked with 8 miles left back to civilization. We went from riding to surviving in a matter of hours Oct 30, 2017
RJ S  
Brutal!!! But so much fun. Keep in mind this is not the complete trail. Mountain bikes have to go up dry wash towards the desert riders tour trail...which if it hasn't rained in the last day or so it will be soft sand for almost 4 miles. Not fun. Have plenty of water and food. Plan 6 ish hr for first time if you are not a racer or super fit. You could probably walk your bike on the hiking only trail back to s palm canyon dr in a emergency but might get in trouble. Mar 23, 2018

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