Whew it’s hot ! Gabby Hayes and Lykken Trails, SoCal, Palm Springs and Desert Palm

Over Thanksgiving I had the chance to drive down to Palm Desert to visit Chico’s favorite playmate, Maggie the Boxer.  Those two will play for hours on end, it’s like they are afraid to be the first to give in and lay down!!!

The temperature which had been cool for The Deserts, shot up to the 80’s so we only did a couple of short hikes because Chico is a smush face and can overheat easily, and Maggie was under a year old and hadn’t been hiking yet, so even tho she was used to the weather being hotter than that, she hadn’t done any trail conditioning…also her play times tended to be in the early early AM or Late evening after the sun set.

First we went to the Dog Park, even tho they had been playing non stop since I arrived the night before, I thought it would be a good idea to for them to play a little more, and around other people and other dogs.  Maggie goes to this same park everyday at the same time along with many other people who go there at the same time, so there is a pack of dogs.  It is fun to watch the pack accept Chico, and to watch him interact with the pack.




On the Way to our First Trail


So we headed for Indian Canyon in Palm Springs. My cousin had just bought a Jeep and his salesman told him there was an awesome trail with a waterfall at the end, and that he had brought his dog.  I didn’t bother to look up more than the location, figuring that there would be a map, and even a map that we could take with us because that is how the parks are in NorCal. On the road leading to Indian Canyon we noticed a spot with what looked like a trailhead and dogs…hmmm….I thought, well, maybe people are just parking here and walking in, to avoid the $10 fee…NOPE Indian Canyon doesn’t allow dogs.

So we went back to the other spot, which turned out to be a small trail that runs up to the Lykken trail…the small trail has houses on one side, and in fact since hiking in the desert is rather barren, you can always see some houses as you wind up the mountains here



Did I say it was hot?  Not even a half mile into it Chico was actively searching shade.  Maybe it’s my fault, when it’s hot here I only go to very shady trails, and in the rare instance that it gets over 85, we don’t go hiking.   We got to the Lykken sign and started to wind up the summit, but then my cousin looked down, and I looked down, and remembered the memorial near the beginning, and we both decided to turn around.  Its one thing to wind up a mountain on trails withe brush and trees, you often can avoid looking over ledges if that kind of thing makes you a bit tittery:)  Sad to say my cousin called yesterday to say they found a dead hiker at the bottom of the trail, not sure of cause of death.

So Next day we went to the Gabby Hayes trail which intersects with many other trails, notably the Hopalong.


From gabby Hayes you can hike up to a cross, and that was our goal, but our pups started to lay down on the trail at 2 miles, we kept them well hydrated, it was just plain hot for them, and I knew that I didn’t want to have to carry Chico out on the narrow loose gravely trails.  I told my cousin the old adage, don’t hike further in than you can carry your dog out and we agreed to turn around.  It was also Thanksgiving Day and everyone seems to go hiking thanksgiving out there!  We passed the Bump and Grind trail and there must of been 100+ people on it, resembling ants on an ant mound, since they were all visible



It was a strange sensation to hike in the desert, it made me realize why they make camel backs, something that I haven’t felt I have needed in Nor Cal.  Gabby Hayes only had a map at the beginning, people were always asking each other when they passed, either what trail they were on, or what trail was ahead/behind, we didn’t see any trail markers. I imagine one might need print a map ahead of time if they were going to go for a longer hike along the Hopalong.  Also, despite the many signs that said ‘Leash Only” there was one guy who not only had his dog off leash, but bragged that his dog doesn’t even wear a collar.  It was such a busy, narrow trail, that one mis step wouldve been easy, and sent someone or the dog tumbling downward. We were passing people or being passed every 15-30 seconds.



These trees (?) were near the Gabby Hayes trail head, there was no vegetation on the trail, tho you could sometimes find shade on a ledge like Chico did below or if the sun was on the other side of the mountain.


Our dogs did really well on the trail, they knew it wasn’t play with each other time, and even tho there weren’t trees to sniff, they both seemed to love sniffing random rocks. Often if the trail was wide enough they walked side by side. We had to make a couple adjustments, Maggie would pull my cousin if we were ahead, so we just stayed behind them and took photos.  I can’t wait to go back and explore both these areas longer when it is cooler out.  The Lykken Trail has other entrance points, and I’d like to see if those seem a little less—SUPER HIGH UP!   Also, Chico will probably get a pair of Ruffwear Summit Trex. There are a few trails here in NorCal that I take, they he could use them on as well.

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