Hike the South Lykken Trail to Picnic Area
San Diego › South Lykken Trail
Added by Nick Tort
Outstanding desert and valley views, rocky hillsides, picnic table area at the summit and a birds eye view of Tahquitz Canyon waterfall.
The South Lykken Trail is the south half of the 9.5-mile Carl Lykken Trail, which weaves along a series of mountain ridges above downtown Palm Springs.
This section of the trail runs 4.4 miles one-way. You will gain just over 1000ft of elevation at the highest point and descend down. It’s a moderate point-to-point hill of a hike - enough to get the blood flowing, but not enough to be huffing it up, missing out on soaking in the many scenic views. Very well maintained trail, very easy to follow, with no offshoots. The north end of the trail starts at the west end of Mesquite Road, just south of downtown Palm Springs off South Palm Canyon Drive. There is no parking available at this location, but there is on-street parking near the turnoff from South Palm Canyon Drive. Park and walk along the road to the trailhead.
On the top sits 2 sets of picnic tables, which set the scene for a perfect picnic getaway. There is no shade, so bring plenty of water, and rock a hat!
Starting this hike just before sunset will expose you to the growing shadows along the valley floor and changing colors of the sky - bring a headlamp if heading out this time of day (it’s worth it). The trail is flat and smooth with an easy enough incline grade to make this a trail run for anybody looking for that abuse.
If you wanted to complete the Carl Lykken in it’s entirety, you will need to shuttle to the North Lykken Trail because it is separated by Taqhuitz Canyon.
- Plenty of H20 and trail snacks
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Fitness, Hiking, Running
Spring, Autumn, Winter
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Noise Pollution Potential
If you need to get out and stretch your legs, this is a good one. It's a quick hike up to picnic benches. We continued up to the peak which had great views of a little waterfall. That said, a construction site below was blaring music, dance party Kesha style, blah, the entire time. We quickly realized why we had this trail to ourselves.
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