Best Bike Trails in Palm Springs

I’m currently in Palm Springs & I can tell you: there are bikers….everywhere!!  With year-round balmy temperatures (minus the summer, when it is decidedly HOT), the desert is an amazing place to bike, with nearly all its cities being flat: perfect for an easy family bike ride.  And more experienced riders looking for a challenge can head to the hills for all kinds of mountain bike adventures.  I’ll start this article by listing some of the best paved, mostly flat bike trails in Palm Springs ~ then we’ll venture further out in the valley to find other good options: both with hills & flat.  That said, here are the some of the “Best Bike Trails in Palm Springs!” 

Best Bike Trails in Palm Springs, Girl Who Travels the World

This article covers great paved bike trails AND mountain bike trails in & around Palm Springs. Photo courtesy of VisitGreaterPalmSprings.com.

Fuel up before your bike ride at some of Palm Springs’ best brunch spots ~ or enjoy a fine happy hour drink post-ride, at some of the desert’s liveliest watering holes.

Map of Palm Springs Bike Loops

Best Bike Trails in Palm Springs, Girl Who Travels the World

I’ll provide more details on each of these bike loops below.

Description of Palm Springs Bike Trails

This is a companion to the loops shown on the map above.  Shorter loops are listed first.

  1. Downtown Bike Loop (BLACK) = 2 miles = Short Loop Around Busy Shops & Restaurants.  Goes up Belardo Road, turns right on Alejo, then right on Calle El Segundo.
  2. Indian Canyons Loop (YELLOW) = 3 Miles = Quick Loop by Beautiful Mid-Century Modern Homes & Golf Course.  Goes up Camino Real, turns right on LaVerne Way, then right on Toledo, right on Murray Canyon Dr.
  3. Las Palmas Loop (BLUE) = 3.3 miles = Bike Past Former Movie Stars’ Homes, by Downtown.  Head up Rose Avenue, turn right on Stevens Ave, then jog over to Indian Canyon Drive.
  4. Deepwell Loop (LIGHT BLUE) = 4 miles = Ride on Nice, Wide Sidewalk Around Older Palm Springs Homes.  Head up Camino Real, jog over & turn right on Mesquite Ave, right on Sunrise Way, & right on LaVerne Way.
  5. Tahquitz Creek Loop (GREEN) = 8 miles = Longer Loop Around Tahquitz Creek Golf Course, Mostly Paved.  Loop starts where Sunrise Way meets E. Palm Canyon Drive.
  6. Gene Autry Bikeway (PURPLE) = 13.2 miles = Long Bike Path that Parallels Gene Autry Drive; Can Get Dusty. Long bike path that begins by Via Escuela, passes behind Palm Springs International Airport, & ends near Mesquite Ave. Not the most scenic route.
  7. Whitewater Channel Trail (LIGHT BROWN) = Long, Dedicated Bike Path to Cathedral City.  Starts near Demuth Park & heads east towards Cathedral City. **Note: Serious bikers also take the 37-mile route that leads to the actual town of Whitewater, which is west of Palm Springs, on the road towards Los Angeles.
  8. Citywide Loop (PINK) = 20 miles = Loop that Encompasses Almost Every Other Path on this List! 

Best Flat Bike Trails in Palm Springs, Girl Who Travels the World

Biking around Indian Canyons takes you past some of the city’s finest mid-century modern homes…including a famous one with a bright PINK door. Photo courtesy of VisitPalmSprings.com.

Best Mountain Bike Trails by Palm Springs

  • Clara Burgess Trail, 2.2 miles, 1,339 feet of elevation gain, Strenuous. Clara Burgess is also a hiking trail, so watch out for walkers here.
  • Clara Burgess Trail to Murray Hill, 7.1 miles, 2,076 feet of elevation gain, Hard. This out-and-back loop is best started at Garstin Trailhead. No dogs allowed here, but you’ll see hikers, & wildflowers if it’s spring.
  • Wild Horse Trail (North & South Trailheads), 5.8 miles, Black Diamond-Rated. Rated as very difficult, this is best left for advanced riders. Also starts near Garstin Trailhead, & hooks up with Dunn Road (another popular spot for mountain bikers) towards the end of its single-track.
  • Palm Canyon Epic Trail, 28-mile Single-track, Very Strenuous. Because this is such a long trail, it’s advised to park at one end, & leave another car at the other end. Park near Hwy 111 & Date Palm Drive, then leave another car up the mountain, by Hwy 74 & Pine View Drive.

Best Mountain Bike Rides in Palm Springs, Girl Who Travels the World

Murray Hill is one of the most challenging mountain bike peaks to climb near town.

Other Good Bike Trails in the Desert…

  • Bike Trails in Palm Desert = For a challenge, head up Highway 74 starting by El Paseo, ending around Bighorn Golf Club; this is a good climb either on the road, or there’s also a good sidewalk the whole way. For an easier loop, bike around the shops of El Paseo ~ or enjoy nice, wide sidewalks around Desert Willow Golf Course (one of the most scenic courses in the desert). Get more ideas by checking out the map below, of popular Palm Desert bike loops.

Best Bike Trails in Palm Desert, California, Girl Who Travels the World

Good bike loops in Palm Desert.

  • Bike Trails in Indian Wells = Indian Wells is mainly comprised of gated communities ~ but you can bike right along Highway 111 on a lovely, very WIDE bike path. Start by the Renaissance Esmeralda Hotel (also one of the best hotel pools) & bike to Cook Street; after Cook, it gets really congested, so I’d either turn around, or turn right on Cook.
  • Bike Trails in La Quinta = La Quinta has one of the best paved bike trails in the desert: Bear Creek Trail, which is 2.7 miles long & has a gentle incline the whole way. Rent bikes at Pedego Electric Bikes in Old Town, or the Village Peddler, then head west towards the mountains. Bear Creek Trail parallels Avenida Montezuma all the way up until you reach the “Top of the Cove.” If you’re a mountain biker, you may want to visit this area, as it has numerous bike tracks ~ including the popular Boo Hoff Trail, which is great for both hikers & bikers.

Best Bike Trails in Palm Desert & La Quinta, Girl Who Travels the World

Bear Creek Trail in La Quinta is a great spot for bikers, as there’s NO traffic or cars to deal with! And scenic mountain views all around…

Best Bike Trails in Palm Springs

That’s it for great bike rides in the Coachella Valley ~ if you’ve got any more ideas for good rides, please feel free to share them in the comments below!

xoxo Noelia

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Where to Bike Ride in Palm Springs, Girl Who Travels the World