Bump and Grind Trail Guide (Palm Desert)
|In This Guide|
|Total Distance (?)||4 miles (6.4 km)|
|Other Options||3 Miles Without Trip to Summit|
|Hike Time||2 Hours (Total)|
|Total Ascent (?)||1,430 feet (436m)|
|Highest Elevation||1,280 feet (390m)|
|Fees & Permits||Free|
|Alerts & Closures (?)||Palm Desert Parks & Recreation|
The Bump and Grind Trail, one of the most popular in the Palm Springs area, is a short yet challenging loop hike that packs a lot of fun. You’ll get the incredible scenery of the desert foothills, a challenging but doable climb, a visit to a refuge for the endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep, and views of the two high peaks of Southern California, Mt San Jacinto and San Gorgonio. For the best experience, leave at sunrise or late in the afternoon to avoid the crowds and heat. This guide will show you how to navigate the Bump and Grind Trail and have a great time.
Bump and Grind Trail Address
The Bump and Grind Trail starts behind the Desert Crossing Shopping Center in Palm Desert, CA. It always amazes me that, although you are right behind a mall, you feel like you are a world away. Use this address:
72440 Painters Path, Palm Desert, CA, 92260
Parking is free.
Gear for the Hike
You don’t need hardcore hiking gear to do the Bump and Grind Trail, but you do need to be prepared. Although steps away from the mall’s air-conditioned world, this is a desert hike, and people need to get rescued relatively often.
- First off, bring plenty of water, at least 1.5 L (like a Smart-water bottle) for the loop hike.
- Watch the weather for Palm Desert and avoid the hike if it’s going to be hot out. Most locals do this hike at sunrise in cooler months.
- Trekking poles help on the steep terrain.
- Good footwear such as trail runners or hiking shoes will serve you best.
- You can get away with fitness clothes or light hiking gear.
- Don’t forget about sun protection.
Garmin inReach Mini
If you’re not familiar with the Garmin InReach technology, it allows you to send and receive text messages where you don’t have cell phone signals. You can also get weather reports and trigger an SOS to emergency responders. Even if you don’t have an emergency, sending a quick message telling a loved one that you’re okay or are running late is well worth the cost.
Latest Prices: Amazon | REI
My Review & Guide
How is this Different than a GPS?
Altra Lone Peak 5
For most people, the Altra Lone Peak is a solid choice that will leave your feet feeling great at the end of any hike. The feel is cushy and light, and if it had a car equivalent, this would be a Cadillac or Mercedes Sedan. The grip is great and they’re reasonably durable for this type of trail runner, which I think is better in most conditions than a hiking boot, and here’s why. The downside of this shoe is that it won’t last as long as something like the Moab 2 (see alternate footwear choices at the bottom of my gear page). I’ve been using mine for many miles and my feet always feel great. Watch my video explaining why they are a great shoe here.
Women’s Latest Prices: REI | Amazon
Men’s Latest Prices: REI | Amazon
Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles
I’ve gone back and forth on trekking poles, but I think for most people they are a good investment. They help you dig in on the uphills, provide stability on loose downhills, act as a brace when crossing streams, and can probably poke away aggressive wildlife in a pinch. The Trail Ergo Cork poles are a good balance of light weight, durability, affordability, and ease of use. If you want something ultralight and a little more pricey, I’ve had great luck with the Black Diamond Z Poles too.
Trail Ergo Poles: REI | Amazon
Z-Poles: REI | Amazon
Here’s my complete gear list that I personally use, have tested, and recommend, updated January 2022.
No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an a link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps keep the website ad and promotion free. There is no cost to you.
Bump and Grind Trail Maps
This hike follows the Bump and Grind Trail loop’s popular clockwise routing. It has a steeper climb on the way up and the more gradual, knee-saving, and slip-avoiding trail back down. The course has markers along the way to help you confirm that you’re in the right place (more in the directions below).
Explore Map on CalTopoView a Printable PDF Hike MapDownload the Hike GPX File
If you try to download the GPX file and your browser adds a “.txt” or “.xml” extension to it, simply rename it as a “.gpx” file.
How Are You Going to Navigate This Hike?
If you are a hardcore hiker and/or hike in extreme conditions, I recommend getting a dedicated GPS like a GPSMAP 66sr or 66i, or a wrist-based GPS with maps like the Garmin Fenix 6. If you only hike in fair weather and a touchscreen is fine, or just want a solid tool, I highly recommend downloading the smartphone app, Gaia GPS. It’s a piece of cake to use and very powerful, just make sure your phone is in airplane mode so the battery doesn’t drain. You can also check for wildfires, weather, snow, and choose from dozens of map types with a premium membership (HikingGuy readers get a big discount here). Note that I also carry a paper map with me in case the phone dies or gets smashed.
Bighorn On the Bump and Grind Trail
There has been controversy around the Bump and Grind Trail and the endangered peninsular bighorn sheep. Regular bighorn, which inhabits the higher mountains, are not endangered, but the peninsular bighorn, found in the lower desert between Palm Springs and Baja, Mexico, is endangered. There are only about 3,000 left in the world. The upper sections of this hike pass through an area where the peninsular bighorn often raise their young (lambs).
Conservationists wanted to close the whole area to humans; community leaders realized that this hike is a major attraction and wanted to keep the space open. The two parties were able to compromise, and now the upper “out and back” portion of the hike is closed for three months a year to give the bighorn space to raise their young.
We saw a herd of Bighorn Sheep, which was amazing! TripAdvisor Reviewer
You can still do the hike if the upper portion is closed. The distance will be 3 miles instead of 4 and still offers a good workout and lots of natural beauty.
Bump and Grind Trail Directions
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Turn by Turn Directions
Hopalong Cassidy was a fictional cowboy character that first came to life in 1904 through short stories, then on films, and then on a popular television show in the 1950s. The television character was played by William Boyd, who retired to Palm Desert. His widow and the city named the trail after him and his famous character.
You’re now on the Herb Jeffries Trail. Herb Jeffries was another Palm Desert resident, cowboy hero, and singer with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. His mixed ethnicity and the dynamics of American racism make his story an interesting read.
Head back downhill after the loop, back to the gate that you came through.
This guide last updated on October 1, 2021. Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.
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