Hiking From Coachella Valley

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Hiking from Coachella Valley: 10 Hikes for a Mild Adventure, Hike 10, San Jacinto Peak

On a few of the previous hikes in this series I would reach the peak, in triumph, only to see a higher one. I knew that my time in the desert wouldn't be complete until I ascended the grandfather of the valley. That being said, from the beginning, I knew that this would be the final hike. Two years ago I was driving through the area on my six week road trip. My eyes were fixed on the enormous San Jacinto Peak planted along the I-10 corridor. Unlike looking at Mt. Rainier in Washington (above 14,000 ft), San Jacinto Peak has always been within my abilities.
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Hiking from Coachella Valley: 10 Hikes for a Mild Adventure, Hike 9, Wandering Up Red Tahquitz

This hike was way more of an adventure than I planned. There was a good amount of snow on the ground and a wind storm came through that day (some gusts getting up-and-over 45 mph). I cannot count the number of times I stopped, looked around, and thought, "Shit, where the hell is the trail?", before checking the map on my phone to confirm I was still trending in the right direction. The last part of the ascent was even more of a beauty. The slope I chose to ascend, for the last couple hundred feet, was completely snow-covered. There was no sign of any other footprints.
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Hiking from Coachella Valley: 10 Hikes for a Mild Adventure, Hike 8, Sheep Mountain

I was surprised how frustrated I was, but how easily I could turn around to the landscape behind me, and be eased into a feeling of awe. The green valley stacked above the desert—and below Santa Rosa Peak—is nothing short of a hidden gem. However, this hike had an open-ended test question on it, and I stumbled through my response. In the end, I was able to figure it out, and I feel better for it.
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Hiking from Coachella Valley: 10 Hikes for a Mild Adventure, Hike 7, 4,000 ft. Up on the Cactus-to-Clouds (Skyline) Trail

I thought it looked nearly perfect when I first saw the medium-sized rock sitting on top of a larger pile of boulders. It would make a fantastic vantage point to stop and take in the surroundings. After a surprising difficult hike, it was energizing to see my (potential) destination. Before I set out that morning, I pondered my ability to hike the entire 9 miles—and 8,000 ft elevation gain—to the tram. Just over three miles in and pushing 3,500 ft in ascent, I knew that this hike was no joke. Regardless, what I really hoped, as I approached my small hill of boulders, was that is would allow me to see the snowy San Jacinto range further up.
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Hiking from Coachella Valley: 10 Hikes for a Mild Adventure, Hike 6, Joshua Tree & Conejo Wells

It was dark, freezing, and I forgot my face-mask. I wrapped a small blanket around my head. I completely underestimated the wind when I left the house at 4:40 a.m. that morning. The only consolation I seemed to have were the stars I saw (and could still see) on the drive into Joshua Tree NP, and knowing that in 3-4 hours, maybe, I would be fully basking in the sunshine.
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Hiking from Coachella Valley: 10 Hikes for a Mild Adventure, Hike 5, Snow Creek & the PCT

This hike didn't lead to a waterfall or mountain top. It was, actually, inspired by a stop at rest area a few months ago, and my general curiosity. When I was moving back to the desert I stopped at a rest area off of I-10 (Whitewater Rest Area). The bass of Mt. San Jacinto sits a few miles away. From this rest area you can see the peak, desert slopes to the west, and the greener pine dotted slopes on the east. There is also a road, and what looks like a small town, as the desert valley
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Hiking from Coachella Valley: 10 Hikes for a Mild Adventure, Hike 4, Apache Peak

I contemplated whether or not Maps 3D was bugging out on me. I could not believe the elevation gain was that much (I still don't know if I believe it, but I'll post the 'Track Recording' later). It also was almost a mile longer than it was stated on AllTrails. From trailhead-to-peak, the elevation change is about 3,400 ft
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Hiking from Coachella Valley: 10 Hikes for a Mild Adventure, Hike 3, Rainbow Rock Canyon

This hike has such a subtle elevation gain that, for a second, I didn't believe it when Maps 3D displayed that I had already gained over 1,000 ft in elevation. Anyway, the transition from a dry desert river bed to a more colorful canyon stream was amazing. I did not expect the fall colors in December but welcomed them as they made the hike even more special.
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Hiking from Coachella Valley: 10 Hikes for a Mild Adventure, Hike 2, Traveler's Peak

This hike had character. At times it was entertaining, frustrating, surprising, exhausting, dangerous, or heartwarming. I didn't expect the slot canyons, puzzling scrambles, or hikers journal at the top. However, that's a good place to start, what I expected.
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Hiking from Coachella Valley: 10 Hikes for a Mild Adventure, Hike 1, The Grand Canyon

I KNOW, this is way out-of-the-way for a hike series from Coachella Valley, but it was too tempting. Being from Washington, knowing The Grand Canyon is only 6.5 hour drive, is an opportunity that can't be missed. It was a lot of driving, but definitely worth the road trip. I left the desert around 4:00 P.M. Saturday, rolled into the park about 7:30 A.M. Sunday morning. Spent about 5 hours in the park (including an almost 2,000 ft hike into the canyon), and got back into town around 7:30 P.M.