We headed out to the Pacific Crest trail via White Water Canyon Preserve with our PCT association guides and wandered through the PCT trail. On the Pacific Crest trail we found several flowers in bloom, a great landscape and reminder of beauty in the desert. We also stood in the middle of a PCT landmark with the Pacific Trail South towards our left and the Pacific Crest Trail North to our right. It was my first time on the PCT and a great introduction to the famous trail. The afternoon on the PCT is an experience I will never forget. It was very healing. It has inspired me to return to the PCT with friends and family and continue my journey to explore the healing mysteries of the Pacific Crest trail.
The Pacific Crest Trail is the perfect getaway for exploring the beautiful trails of California. Walk in tent camping is available for individuals and groups by permit on a first come, first serve basis. You’ll discover a lot of wildflowers on the trails as well. You can take a 1 hour hike or several day hike depending on the type of adventure you are looking for. Our guide hiked the Pacific Crest Trail twice. We toured the Pacific Crest trail South for a 3 mile hike.
Hiking Trails At White Water Canyon Preserve
1. Canyon View Loop Trail 3.5 miles Moderate A loop trail with excellent views of the canyon and surrounding mountains. This trails leaves from the Whitewater Ranger Station, and follows a segment of the Pacific Crest Trail heading south. When crossing the riverbed, keep your eyes peeled for a small wooden footbridge that will carry you across the Whitewater River.
2. Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail “PCT” A 2650 mile trail that runs from Mexico to Canada Get there in 1/2 mile along a trail from the Whitewater Ranger Station.
3. Red Dome 2 miles each way, 4 miles total Easy –moderate Leave the Whitewater Ranger Station and hike to the Pacific Crest Trail. Hike north on the “PCT” 1.5 miles to this small red rock hill in the canyon bottom. Continue past Red Dome if you wish to reach the West Fork Trail.
4. West Fork Trail 1.6 miles from gate to Stonehouse, 3.6 to Pacific Crest Trail Easy-moderate The West Fork Trail departs from the Mission Creek Preserve gate, and passes the historic Stonehouse in 1.6 miles on its way to the Pacific Crest Trail. It is an eight mile hike from the Mission Creek Preserve gate to the Whitewater Preserve Ranger Station.
5. Cottonwood Trailhead along the Pacific Crest Trail 8 miles Moderate –Difficult Follow the Pacific Crest Trail south from the Whitewater Ranger Station to reach this parking lot off the Haugen-Lehmann exit on Interstate 10
What To Wear: Bring comfortable walking shoes, cold water, a hat, sunscreen and insect repellant.
Hikers Beware: Stay alert, there are snakes on the trails.
Best time to Visit: Palm Springs area is hot during the summer. Recommend visits during the Fall, Winter and Spring. Best time to visit is the Spring to view the wildflowers.
9160 Whitewater Canyon Rd.
Whitewater CA 92282