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Coachella Valley – take a hike, safely of course…

Coachella Valley – take a hike, safely of course…

Hiking in the Coachella Valley, Palm Springs and surrounding areas; Ready to put the treading on your boots to the test…safely?

Warmer weather is upon us and the trails throughout Palm Springs, the Coachella Valley and beyond to Joshua Tree, San Jacinto Peak, Anza Borrego and the Salton Sea are already waiting for you and your friends to come explore what nature has to offer.

Just remember our extreme desert and mountanious conditions require, planning and common sense to be safe. Here are some planning and safety tips to make the most of your hike.

Some necessary items –

You might have a long journey ahead, you might have a short little trek. Here’s a checklist of some items to take with you on your hike that you shouldn’t do without:

nice hike

Full moon over Joshua Tree National Park – By Ben Horton

  • Backpack, of course. If the duration of your hike is longer than a day trip and you plan to camp out, you might want to invest in a real hiking pack and a portable tent.
  • Pocket knife – make sure it’s sharp so it has a use other than picking your nails.
  • Compass – They still make these.
  • Map (x2) – An extra just in case you lose one.
  • Plenty of water and light food items. You don’t want to weigh your pack down with a lot of unnecessary canned foods if you don’t have to, so bring light food items like granola and dehydrated fruit.
  • Whistle and first aid kit – If something goes wrong, you can call for help with a whistle to signal for someone that might be nearby.
  • Headlamp, in case the sun goes down quicker than you expected. Yes, it might be nerdy, but its worth it. You can nerd it up even more with a fanny pack to carry small items.
  • Sun screen, rain gear, and added layers in case the weather changes abruptly. A hat wouldn’t hurt, and a bandana around your neck will also help protect the skin of your neck. Sunglasses are optional but will be one of your best allies.
  • Why not bring a walking stick?

Some items won’t be necessary for shorter hikes, but what’s listed above are essentials.

Image result for site:coachellavalley.com hiking

Stay on the beaten path!

Be prepared

  • Preparation is key. It’s always important to check the forecasted weather conditions for the day. Do your planning in advance and make sure to bring the proper clothing for any abrupt changes in weather. You will benefit from having the proper type of shoes or boots and your local outdoor retailer can certainly aid you in finding the right kind of footwear for your adventure.
  • Stay hydrated. Check out this article on hydration tips.
  • Stay on the beaten path. The safest path is the path most trodden. Know what path you are taking, and stick to it.
  • Watch out for snakes! Yeah, those guys are sneaky. And snakey. So watch out. Be aware of wildlife in general.

How you plan is key to successful hikes

Hiking is more than just an outdoor stroll on uphill dirt and there are things to be aware of as you tread through nature’s pathways. Hike in a group whenever you can, especially if it is your first time doing a major hike. This is the safest way to hike. Make sure each member of the group has a backpack with food supplies and water in case somehow the group splits up. More experienced hikers should be at the front of the group, that way, if something in the environment is dangerous, then the leader will be able to make the rest of their group aware and guide them. It is good to make consistent checks of your surroundings and your footing so that you do not hurt yourself from a slip, fall or any other type of injury.


If you are hiking with children involved, keep your hike easy and short. Account for extra time, kids like to explore and play with caterpillars. Kids may be more heat sensitive and will likely be tired sooner than you are, so plan your hike according to experience.

Hiking doggo is strong doggo.

A member of the canine species is a valuable partner in search of new terrains. – photo by Laura Green

Hiking with Fido

You will want to make sure your dog has all the proper vaccinations and is identifiable as your pet. Put more than a name tag on Fido’s collar, include your address and phone number on the tag. Give Fido some training first by conditioning him with some short hikes before you attempt any long treks.  Remember that dogs are not allowed on certain trails. Be sure to reward Fido for his effort at the end of the day.

 Do not litter.

It’s nice to take a large trash bag with you to collect trash as you go, as well as having something to put your own in.

It’s essential to know where you are going and where you will end up. Researching trails beforehand is a great idea and will save you lots of trouble. You should take cell phones with you in case of emergencies.

There’s not much else to say besides be careful. In all its beauty, Coachella Valley contains plenty else to go see and experience beyond the walls of the cities. So, get your gear packed and do some stretches, it’s hiking season and there’s no one stopping you from stepping forth into the great outdoors.

There is more

Please visit the Riverside County Desert Sheriff’s Search and Rescue website here to learn more about being safe when hiking out in the desert.

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