South Lykken Trail

Named for Carl Lykken, Palm Springs’ first postmaster, this is a very nice hike.

The trail head is at the end of Mesquite Road and ends on South Palm Canyon Drive about a mile and a half off of Highway 111.

I like to do the steepest part of a hike first so we went this way – if you go up from South Palm Canyon Drive it is a bit easier but you might have a little trouble finding the trail head.

You will park on Mesquite Road and walk to the trail head.

The trail, as you may expect, is a series of switchback up the hill, actually up the San Jacinto Mountain, until you reach a plateau (mesa) with picnic tables at Josie Johnson Vista Park. Most people rest here and then go back down. Fortunately, I was with a friend and we parked one vehicle on South Palm Canyon and drove to Mesquite so we could do a loop. I like loops. The trail is well maintained. Lots of great rock formations from small to huge.

It was a nice hike. We started around 10:00 AM. The temperature was in the high 70’s and low 80’s. I consumed three quarts of liquid. We met a group of four from Canada, a couple of guys from New York City and an 80 year old gentleman from Germany. The 80 year old went further than the other two groups. We saw him at the Picnic tables at the far end of the trail at the Simonetta Kennett Vista Point just before you go down to South Palm Canyon Drive. He told us he has been coming to this area for the past 20 years and that he and his wife were preparing to move to Palm Springs a couple of years ago but she died of cancer. On a lighter note we saw two chuckwalla lizards.

The trail from end to end is about five miles.

We took a ton of pictures.

We were rewarded with fantastic views of Palm Springs, the Coachella Valley, and down into Tahquitz Canyon. We could easily see and hear the waterfalls in Tahquitz Canyon.

There is also a North Lykken Trail and I will write of that trail separately.

Note: Many people spell Lykken as Lyken. The correct spelling is with two k’s.

Take a look at our Photo Gallery.

See our write up at HikingAcrossAmerica.Com.

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