While it was 102-degrees in Palm Springs, we knew to expect at least a 30-degree temperature differential in the mountains. And even though our lightweight polartecs were unnecessary I would encourage day visitors to bring with them as a sensible precaution. While the trails we opted for were low impact, a sturdy hiking shoe is advisable and not the sandals, flip-flops and smooth soled shoes so many of the casual visitors were wearing. Depending on time constraints, you can have a very enjoyable 2-hr hike on one trail or spend the entire day exploring a number of the routes. Some of the trails will take you through scenic groves of tall pines on fairly level terrain. With a slight gain in elevation, we happened upon a 5 station series of ‘notches’ that provide magnificent vistas of the valley and surrounding mountains out to the Salton Sea. We almost passed by the separate Grubbs Notch and, though not well marked, it is not to be missed. Before departing the mountaintop, you should definitely go out onto the wrap around deck at the restaurant level, walk around the building and go up the metal staircase for a rewarding viewpoint.
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