Taking advantage of midweek peace and quiet and fewer tourists, we’ll explore four popular nature trails located in the center of the park. These are all relatively flat and are suitable for all levels.
Our first stop will be the Barker Dam trailhead. We’ll meet at the trailhead and proceed into the Wonderland Wash, a 2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail featuring abundant rock formations, the Astro Dome rock, and the Wonderland Ranch ruins. We retrace our steps and branch off to our second stop in the area, the Barker Dam Nature Trail, a 1.5 mile loop trail include a shoreline stroll along the reservoir and dam.
Once back in our cars we travel about 2 miles to the Hidden Valley picnic area and trailhead. We’ll regroup and embark on this 1.3 mile circuitous route around some of the most prominent features of the park, including Locomotion Rock. This trail features interpretive guides which explain the area's diversity, plant life and geology.
Following Hidden Valley we’ll drive another 10 miles to our final stop which is the famous Skull and Jumbo Rocks Loop, an easy 2 mile loop hike featuring fantastic rock formations offering numerous opportunities for off-trail rock scrambling.
Total Distance: All 4 nature trails combined: about seven miles on flat terrain.
Carpooling is encouraged and may be available if offered by driver. You are responsible for arranging you own transportation or ride share. Arrive a few minutes early for briefing and carpooling. Departure from our Palm Springs carpool location is 8 AM. Distance from Palm Springs to the Barker Dam trailhead inside the park is about 60 miles, about 75 minutes. Entrance fee required to enter the park, $15 per car, however many GOPS members already have an annual park pass.
Meeting location will be sent to you via email with confirmation after you complete the registration.
Bring Ten Essentials (click here), water (2 to 3 liters recommended), trail snacks. Sun protection and layered clothing are recommended.
Carry Emergency Contact Information (ICE).
Sturdy hiking footwear with good tread and adequate drinking water are required.
Leader: Mike Seay Email Contact
Weather Policy: Inclement weather cancels
Health Problems/allergies: Discuss any medical concerns with the leader that may affect your ability to complete the hike or swim in the heated pools.