Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument

Bureau of Land Management, California.

The Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains provide a world-renowned scenic backdrop to the desert communities of the Coachella Valley. The National Monument serves as a model for community based support and creation. This monument reflects the vision of the local jurisdictions that assisted in the designation.

A view of San Jacinto Peak from the Indio Hills. The Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument and surrounding hills are steep and inhospitable. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM. Visitor Center Open Wednesday - Monday
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Oct 1 - April 14
Visitor Center Open Thursday - Monday
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., April 15 - April 30
Visitor Center Open Friday - Monday
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m., May 1 - Sept 30


Many areas of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument are remote and challenging. You cannot always depend on a signpost or a ranger to get you out of a fix. Bring appropriate equipment so you can be prepared for weather changes and can take care of yourself, if necessary, overnight.



To help you decide which of the many trails to take – especially if you’re a newcomer – we have divided the National Monument into three areas: the San Jacinto Mountains west of Palm Canyon divide, the Northern Santa Rosa Mountains between the Palm Canyon divide and Highway 74, and the Southern Santa Rosa Mountains from Highway 74 to the Monument’s border with Anza Borrego Desert State Park. Each area has its own personality. Along with the trail areas listed above, these are some of the more popular trails in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.

Trails are rated as easy, moderate, or strenuous in accordance with the following criteria*:

*Difficulty ratings are based on one-way trips. When assessing how difficult a trail may be for you, consider whether you plan to return on the same trail, thereby doubling your distance, or by using another trail which also adds mileage and difficulty. Be aware that using two moderate trails to complete a loop may result in a strenuous hike.

The best time of year for enjoying lower elevation trails is November through April; for higher elevation trails, the best time is May through October.

Many trails are open to all forms of non-motorized travel – hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking – but not all trails are open to everyone. Mountain bikers are prohibited in designated wilderness areas, in the Indian Canyons, on certain trails near Murray Hill, or on any part of the Pacific Crest Trail. Check with the appropriate agency if you don’t know the rules.

Be safe and enjoy!

Hikers yield to mountain bikers along the Art Smith Trail. Rocky hills surround and a California Fan Palm oasis is adjacent to the trail. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.

Dogs at the Monument

Dogs are not allowed on most trails in the National Monument. At lower elevations, this prohibition is enforced for the protection of endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep, which react to dogs as they would to coyotes, a natural predator. In the San Jacinto Mountains, which are usually accessed via the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway or from the alpine community of Idyllwild, dogs are prohibited in Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness. Dogs are also prohibited in the Indian Canyons.

Dog Friendly Areas:

One of the limited opportunities for taking your dog on mountain trails in the Monument is available on the loop connecting Homme Adams and Cahuilla Hills Parks in the City of Palm Desert. From Homme Adams Park, follow the Homestead Trail to the Hopalong Cassidy Trail, then south on the “Hoppy” to the cross or north to the Gabby Hayes which will take you down to Cahuilla Hills Park, or viceversa. Be aware, however, that dogs are prohibited on segments of the Hopalong Cassidy Trail that extend south of the cross and north of the Gabby Hayes Trail. At higher elevations, dogs are allowed on Forest Service trails, though be sure not to continue with your dog into Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness or the Indian Canyons.

For details about where dogs are allowed and where they are prohibited, please contact the National Monument Visitor Center at (760) 862-9984.

Nearby Activities


The Santa Rosa Mountains Visitor Center located off State Highway 74 south of Palm Desert was dedicated in 1996 and open to the public. The Visitor Center address is 51-500 Hwy 74, Palm Desert, CA 92260 and is 4 miles south of the intersection of Highway 74 and Highway 111 in Palm Desert.

Additional Information

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