The dog-friendly Bighorn Overlook Trail is a short hike that begins behind Rancho Mirage's City Hall, where you'll find parking, and the trail makes a quick ascent via a series of switchbacks of about 100 feet, where it meets up with the Jack Rabbit Trail. Here you can make a choice between heading right, to Roadrunner Trail, or to the left and back to Highway 111 and the Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Survivors' Park near City Hall. The park features benches, ponds and hillside waterfalls along with sculptures and an information kiosk, and can be a peaceful place to catch your breath before you and Fido head home.
Bighorn Overlook's smooth, packed dirt trail surface makes its steep climb doable and pleasant for most, but it's best to tackle it in the early morning or evening to avoid having to spend trail time in the relentless and unshaded sun and heat on this desert route. When you reach the top, before moving on to another trail, be sure to take time to view the incredible view of Rancho Mirage, and the desert wildflowers. While sparse, their beauty is dramatic set against the reddish desert terrain. You may also spot some cute desert rodents, prehistoric-appearing lizards and majestic birds. A uniquely-made picnic shelter made of columns of flat rocks stacked on top of each other, supporting a cedar roof, greets you at the summit as well, and is a pawrfect place to rest, enjoy a snack or lunch and offer your pooch some water and shade.
This popular trail is home to stone designs and cairns left by previous hikers, and its summit is a favorite for moonlit hikes and yoga practice at its summit. There is also a plaque memorializing a lover of the trail, and a quote and bench in his name. The views of distant rock-faced mountains and the winding Highway 111 are the backdrop to furbulous sunrises and sunsets, too!
Bighorn Lookout Trail is more than a short connector to the longer trails in the Mirada Trail System. It stands on its own as a satisfying and challenging hike for you and your pup!
This trail is a steep climb, although short, and there are some steep drop-offs to the side of the path. Watch your footing and wear hiking shoes or boots.