Our curiosity had always beckoned us to discover what lay on the South side of the South Lykken trail, and today was the day we decided to embark on this exploration. With a beautiful 80-degree day in Palm Springs, we made our way towards the Indian Canyon and parked our car at the trailhead.
As we set forth, the path initially appeared flat, dusty, and deceptively easy. However, we had no inkling of what lay beyond this seemingly mild start. After about 10 minutes of hiking, the trail began to incline significantly. The gradual ascent soon transformed into a steep climb, surrounded by imposing boulders beneath our feet. It felt almost like boulder scrambling as we navigated the first 30 minutes of the trail, which included numerous switchbacks. Looking down at the city below, it was a breathtaking sight. The surrounding landscape, adorned with dried shrubs gleaming in a golden hue, seemed to be kissed by the sun itself. As we ascended, sweat trickled from our foreheads into our eyes and occasionally found its way into our mouths. Our hearts worked diligently to keep us moving forward. While we remained vigilant for sunbathing snakes, we were fortunate not to encounter any. However, the rocky terrain demanded caution, as the accumulation of dust and sand on the path, combined with the limited foot traffic this early in the season, made the trail somewhat slippery.
The second leg of the climb was more forgiving, with a flatter and wider path. The wind offered us some respite, clearing away our sweat and providing a refreshing breeze. This allowed us to relax and take in the splendid views of the city below and the encircling mountains.
We found ourselves approximately 600 feet above ground level. After completing all the switchbacks, we reached a vista point called Simonetta Kennett, offering a panoramic view of the city from afar. The distant mountains, shrouded in a hazy veil, gave the impression of being in an entirely different world.
Upon soaking in the beauty of our surroundings, we made our way towards the picnic area, which marked the end of this segment of the hike. It had taken us about 45minutes to conquer the 1.65-mile ascent. From there, we continued walking for another 15 minutes until we reached the trail junction leading back to the road, which we had taken on a previous hike.
The final leg of our journey involved retracing our steps to the car, which took us approximately 30 minutes. One thing to note is that the descent was steep and could put a strain on the knees, especially considering the potentially slippery rocks. A fall could lead all the way to the bottom, so caution was paramount. Nonetheless, if you’re in good health, you should be able to navigate the descent reasonably quickly.
As we returned to the car with sweaty backs, we couldn’t help but relish the incredible 3.1 miles we had hiked that day, marking another successful adventure on the South Lykken Trail.