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Pushawalla Loop
Coachella Valley, California
January 21, 2020

We could hardly visit Palm Springs without visiting one of the palm oases in the area. There's nothing like seeing palm trees growing wild in their natural setting. To see them we chose to hike Pushawalla Loop.

Most of the people we saw on the trail were doing Pushawalla Loop counterclockwise: climbing the ridge, dropping down to the oasis, and then coming back on the wash. But Dinah and I did the loop clockwise, saving the ridge for last. Coming back high up the ridge would give us the best view of the San Jacinto and San Bernardino Mountains, putting them in front of us. The disadvantage, as one older gentleman pointed out, meant descending a canyon full of loose rocks which is easier to manage going up. But that mattered little to us.

Within minutes of starting, we came to a fork and kept left to follow the trail in the wash. There's little to see here, so we were glad when the trail climbed the plateau-like east end of the ridge. We crossed it, following the trail to the canyon leading to the palms. After dropping down into a valley on the other side, the palm oasis was nearby.

The first palms were especially dense. A trail on the left skirts around them, but it's more fun to take the trail that plunges right through the trees, a brief but veritable jungle. After emerging, there were more palms to see but they were spread out. We hiked down the valley to the second canyon where a trail climbs the ridge.

Here the ridge top is still plateau-like, but ahead it rises to a distinctive crest, a real ridge. We were soon on the highest point. Unfortunately, clouds prevented us from seeing much of the mountains to the west. Even so, we enjoyed the long ridgewalk. We followed the trail as it snaked along the crest before dropping down to the fork we had reached earlier. A more satisfying ending than if we had come out on the featureless wash.

KML and GPX Tracks


Pushawalla Loop includes traversing this low, nameless ridge


Starting up the trail


A few minutes later we came to a fork. We went left, into the wash. Right climbs the ridge.


Hiking up the wash/trail


Dinah passes a solitary dead palm tree


The trail exits the wash


The trail climbs above a wash


A short time later we crossed the plateau-like east end of the ridge


The trail briefly follows a road


The trail starts down a canyon


Loose rock extends all the way to the bottom


Some people might prefer going up the rocky canyon instead of down


Looking up the trail after reaching the bottom


The palm oasis is a short distance from the canyon. The thickest grove is ahead.


Dinah pushes her way through the trees


I'm right behind her


Looking straight up


Coming out the dense grove


We continued through the trees


The palms stretch along the valley


Heading to the exit canyon


Unlike the canyon we came down, this one has no loose rocks


The trail heads to the top of the ridge


Continuing up


The trail climbs the ridge ahead. Mount San Jacinto is seen poking above the clouds on the left.


Looking down at Pushawalla Palms


The highest point is ahead


The ridge trail extends ahead


Behind and below us is the trail in the wash


We'll soon be back at the parking lot


Thousand Palms 1:24,000 Topo (4.5 mi, 866 ft, 331 ft)

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