Monday, February 28, 2011

Murray Peak — Palm Springs Best View

Today I had a later shift at work so I'd have time to go out and do a little hike in the morning. I wanted to get a little elevation gain in so I chose to do Murray Peak—also known as Murray Hill—in Palm Springs.  The trailhead is a bit of a drive from my house but the hike is so good it's definitely worth it.  I'd have to rush so I could get home and shower before work but I've run to the top in less than an hour before so I figured I'd be OK.  Of course, back then was a bit more fit, younger and, let's say, a tad lighter in the weight department.  If nothing else, this will be a good gauge of just how old, fat and out of shape I've become.

The trailhead is at the end of S. Barona Rd. in Palm Springs.  It's a little cul de sac with just two houses off Bogart Trail.

The trail's been around for quite a while but this sign is relatively new.

The trail quickly gains elevation and gives you breathtaking views of the San Jacintos.

Although it may be the switchbacks and not the view that is taking my breathe away.

Murray Peak, my ultimate destination, is the pointy peak in the distance.

I'm sure glad this trail sign is here because without I very well could have missed the trail.

The trail is shared with mountain bikers and it's easy to see why some hikers are resistant to allowing bikes on a lot of trail.  The trail degradation here is pretty significant.

It's nice to see the snow while hiking in perfect 70º weather.

You have to leave the Garstin Trail and head onto the Wildhorse Trail before hitting the Clara Burgess Trail to the top of Murray Peak.

The trails here all well marked and well traveled. 

There are picnic tables at the top of Murray Peak but I won't have time to sit down and enjoy a nice lunch today.  I've got to get back.  No getting to the top in less than an hour for this old man.

From the top you can look east over the Cathedral City cove and beyond.

To the south your view takes in Dunn Road, Martinez Mountain and Santa Rosa.

To the southwest is the Desert Divide.  Bullseye Rock can be seen by clicking on the picture to enlarge it.

Fobes Saddle, Spitler Peak, Apache Peak and Antsell Rock are visible in this picture.

To the west is the Wildhorse Ridge and Mount San Jacinto

San Gorgonio is to the North.

I run a bit on the way back to make up time but feel a slight twinge in my right quadricep.  I've seen too many old guys pull hamstrings pushing it a bit too hard and I don't want to join that club so I take it easy the rest of the way down.  My body ain't what it used to be but my mind is still OK.  Didn't the sign below say the Garstin Trail was dedicated in 1951?  Then how come this one says 1966?  Maybe it's a test for old guys and if that's the case I passed.  

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