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Palm Springs Hiking Trails

Murray Peak Hike (Palm Springs)

  • 7.5 miles - Moderate Effort
  • 3-4 Hours (Total)
  • 2,000 Total Feet of Climbing
  • Max Elevation of 2,202 feet
  • No Dogs Allowed

Most hikes in the Palm Springs area are up and down desert tracks in the foothills. But if you venture a little farther (7.5 miles total) and do the Murray Peak hike, you'll leave the big crowds behind and get a taste of the raw beauty of the Santa Rosa Mountains. You'll climb up along a quiet canyon in the shadow of the San Jacintos, crest a ridge with views into the Santa Rosas, and then end at a panoramic viewpoint where you can see the Coachella Valley, San Jacinto, San Gorgonio, and Joshua Tree. It's one of my favorite peaks and worth a visit.

In this Guide:
  • Video and Turn-by-Turn Directions to Murray Peak (aka Murray Hill)
  • Parking For the Murray Peak Hike
  • Insider Tips and Recommendations

The summit is officially called Murray Hill, but the unofficial moniker of Murry Peak is more appropriate on this pyramid-shaped dome.

Murray Peak Hike Parking

There are many ways to hike to Murray Peak, but I find that this routing is the best for most folks. Why? Because we're going to start at the Frank Bogert trailhead, which has a parking lot and usually doesn't get too full. And the climb up the Frank Bogert is quiet and shaded in the first half of the day, with great views across to the San Jacinto area. The other approaches work, but the parking can be tougher and the trails more confusing. Overall the Frank Bogert approach is much more user-friendly.

Use this trailhead address:
Frank Bogert Trailhead, Andreas Hills Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264

The Frank Bogert trailhead is not on all maps, but it is on Google Maps, and is a "real" trailhead with parking lot and signage.

Murray Peak Hike Directions 1
There's a big sign at the entrance to the trailhead, which is at the end of a residential neighborhood.
Murray Peak Hike Directions 2
There's a decent-sized parking lot here. The ground is dirt and okay for low-clearance vehicles.
Murray Peak Hike Directions 3
There's a big trailhead sign where the hike starts.

There is no water or bathrooms at the trailhead.

Gear for the Hike

This is a desert hike in the backcountry and you should plan accordingly. I take 2L of water and sun protection. In the warmer months this hike  should only be done at sunrise or at night, it's totally exposed. Trekking poles help on the steep sandy slopes.

Gear That I Love Right Now

Nothing is sponsored or promoted, just the actual gear that I use.

Gear Inreach Mini 2
Garmin InReach Mini 2Hit SOS or just tell loved ones that you're running late where your cell phone has no service.  Review here.
Gear Topo Pursuit
Topo Pursuit 2The best hiking footwear I've ever owned. No blisters. Get them wet, they dry quickly. Lots of cushion and comfort.
Gear Epix Pro Up Ahead
Garmin Epix ProHiking maps, route info, and fitness stats on my wrist. Review here.
Hikelite 26 Gear
Osprey Hikelite 26Lightweight, carries all your gear, and your back doesn't get sweaty. Oh yea, it's also one of the most inexpensive packs you can get.

Check out the complete list here. ( Updated July 2024)

Murray Peak Trail Maps

The hie starts on the Frank Bogert trail, which is relatively new (2009). Then it joins the Wildhorse and Clara Burgess trails. The trails are all easy enough to spot on the ground, and have sporadic signage.

Click Here To View

Use This Map:
View in CalTopo | PDF Map | GPX File

Hike Brief

Welwod Murray 2
Murray Hill is named after Dr. Welwood Murray, a bearded dude in a healthy mood. Photo Palm Springs Historical Society

Murray Peak Hike Directions

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Head up the trail from the sign and trail board.
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In the beginning the trail is a wide dirt track.
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There's a little turnoff to a viewpoint, keep right.
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After a short climb you'll have a nice downhill section.
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Where the trail is washed out, use the small detour up the wash to go around it and come back.
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Avoid the side trails and say on the wide trail.
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Until you get to this turnoff, where the Frank Bogert trail heads uphill. Down to the left is an access road to the water tanks.
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Here's your official welcome to the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. From here you're going to start a steeper uphill section.
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The trail is steep but there are some switchback sections to help you ease the gradient.
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When you get to the top of the climb, the trail levels out and winds around to the left. We'll be climbing up the hill in front of you (which is not Murray Hill).
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When you get to the big intersection, make the hard right up the hill.
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Here's the trail after making that right. We'll be climbing up the Wildhorse Trail. And this is another steep section.
Murray Peak Hike Directions 16
The trail pretty steep and trekking poles help a ton here (both up and down).
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As you climb you'll also start to get the view northeast into the Coachella Valley.
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Soon you'll reach the summit, marked as "viewpoint" on my map. Enjoy the views and continue straight.
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After a short descent from the last viewpoint you'll be following the spine of the ridge. It's flat and easy to cruise on.
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This section along the spine is one of my favorites, with views to the right of the desert and mountains.
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At the end of that long flat stretch you'll reach the intersection of the Clara Burgess Trail. Make the left on the Clara Burgess.
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The trail winds uphill.
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You'll set some great views of the southern peaks in the Santa Rosa Mountains.
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And then Murray Hill will come into view once you crest a saddle.
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Head along the saddle and then look for the trail winding up Murray Peak.
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As you approach the top you'll see the picnic benches.
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Enjoy a nice rest at the benches. Does anyone know how these got up here? Helicopter? Horseback? If you know, let me know, I'm curious.
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Look to the left to climb up the rock pile to the summit.
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From the top you get incredible views.
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To the west you'll see Mt San Jacinto (covered in clouds here).
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And then to the north, Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley spread out in front of you.
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Once you're done at the summit, just turn around and go back the way you came up. That's the hike!

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This Guide Was Written by Cris Hazzard

Cris Hazzard 4 Mile Trail Yosemite
Hi, I'm Cris Hazzard, aka Hiking Guy, a professional outdoors guide, hiking expert, and author based in Southern California. I created this website to share all the great hikes I do with everyone else out there. This site is different because it gives detailed directions that even the beginning hiker can follow. I also share what hiking gear works and doesn't so you don't waste money. I don't do sponsored or promoted content; I share only the gear recommendations, hikes, and tips that I would with my family and friends. If you like the website and YouTube channel, please support these free guides (I couldn't do it without folks like you!). You can stay up to date with my new guides by following me on YouTube, Instagram, or by subscribing to my monthly newsletter.