If you're looking for a desert hike that doesn't require too much effort, look no further than the Earl Henderson Trail! Frequented by local hikers, dog walkers, and horseback riders, this 1-mile route will take you and Fido around a mountainside, offering views of Palm Springs, the Coachella Valley, and the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains.
Not to be confused with the nearby Randall Henderson Trail, the Earl Henderson Trail begins at a signed trailhead on Barona Road. From here, head uphill to a junction where the Henderson and Garstin Trails meet, then follow the former northward as it winds along the east side of Palm Canyon Wash. Barrel cacti, wildflowers, and possibly wildlife will greet you and your pooch along the way. Since the trail is pretty level with little elevation gain overall, you and Fido will get to enjoy the scenery during your hike.
The Henderson Trail is named for local equestrian Earl Henderson, whose group the Desert Riders were responsible for building several of the trails in the area. After about a mile of easy inclines and gentle descents, you and Fido will arrive at a junction with the Shannon Trail. The Shannon Trail does not allow dogs in order to help protect the bighorn sheep, so if you want to check it out, come back on another day when your furry friend isn't tagging along. At this point, it's time for you and your pup to turn around and head back to the trailhead.
Some hikers say that the Henderson Trail can be hard to find, but don't let that deter you as it's certainly worth looking for! A less challenging alternative to the nearby Araby Trail, the Earl Henderson Trail is a must-hike if you and Fido are in Palm Springs. Don't forget to keep your pup leashed and carry water and doggie waste bags!
This trail is out in the open, so wear sunscreen and a hat! Also bring tweezers in case Fido gets too close to the cacti.