Cactus to Clouds Trail

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Cactus to Clouds Trail
San Jacinto Peak from the east near Cactus to Clouds.jpg
Upper reaches of the Cactus to Clouds Trail on San Jacinto Peak's east face
Location Palm Springs, California
Trailheads Palm Springs Art Museum
San Jacinto Peak.
Use Hiking, Backpacking
Highest point San Jacinto Peak 10,834 feet (3,302 m)
Hiking details
Trail difficulty Very strenuous, difficult to follow, temperature extremes, no water[1][2]

The Cactus to Clouds Trail from Palm Springs, California, to San Jacinto Peak is a hiking trail with the greatest elevation gain of any trail in the United States.[3] Also known as the Skyline Trail, it climbs 8,000 feet from the desert to Long Valley where it joins with the main trail to gain another 2,600 feet to the summit. The trail is ten miles to the tram in Long Valley or twenty miles to San Jacinto Peak and back down to the tram.

The trail starts behind the Palm Springs Art Museum. The bottom portion, known as the Museum Trail, continues to a junction with the North Lykken Trail. At its end it joins the Desert View Nature Trail. Hikers may proceed to Long Valley and then continue to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway or San Jacinto Peak.


  1. ^ "Skyline trail: Cactus to clouds". Retrieved October 23, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Cactus to Clouds Hiking Guide". Retrieved October 23, 2014. 
  3. ^ Harris, David Money and Harris, Jennifer Money, Afoot and Afield Inland Empire, Wilderness Press, 2009, pp. 231-233.

Coordinates: 33°49′31″N 116°33′02″W / 33.82528°N 116.55056°W / 33.82528; -116.55056