The Jo Pond Trail in the Coachella Valley is a strenuous, steep, and pawesome 7-mile hike one way. This trail is very dry and hot with little to no shade, so you need to bring several liters of water for you and your fur buddy to stay hydrated. Most of the trail is an uphill climb, so you and Fido should be in good shape to do this hike safely.
The trail starts in Palm Canyon on South Palm Canyon Drive in Mountain Center, California, and leads up switchbacks and through meadows for the first couple of miles. Here you will see tons of colorful flowers before you start hiking into the mountainous desert, where different types of cacti are the attraction. On a clear day, the views here are breathtaking.
On the northern slopes, you will have a bit of shade during the spring, but further up, there is little greenery besides the cacti, palm trees, and chapparal, although you will typically see a brightly colored cactus bloom once in a while on the path. The Jo Pond Trail does not have any water features, even though the name implies that it does. If you hike all the way to the top during the winter or early spring, you will find some snow on the path.
Halfway through, you will start to descend steeply, and the greenery will start to reappear along with the wildlife. You and your fur buddy are likely to see many critters that are just as curious as you are, so be on the lookout. Descending into Palm Canyon, you will have excellent views of the Garnet Ridge, Mount San Jacinto, Salton Sea, and Palm Springs. You are both probably going to be tired, hot, and dusty when you get done with this trip, but those who hike it say it is well worth the effort.