Looking for Advice: First Time Cactus-Clouds hiker

General Palm Springs area.

Looking for Advice: First Time Cactus-Clouds hiker

Postby bbkasper » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:11 pm

I am vacationing in Palm Springs February 27th-March 3rd and would love to do this hike but have zero experience with this trail. I run marathons so I am not worried about conditioning, just concerned with staying on the right course and making sure I pack the appropriate gear. Any tips are much appreciated!
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Re: Looking for Advice: First Time Cactus-Clouds hiker

Postby zippetydude » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:12 pm

Hi and welcome! The trail is fairly easy to find nowadays, in years past it was hard to find at several points, but once you get going, even if the trail splits, the two routes tend to come back together and all the paths lead back to one single route. The tricky part that you may run into during that time-frame is snow. If we get significant snow, the route can be obscured entirely somewhere around 7,000' and you would have no chance of finding it in heavy snow. If that happens, you will have done a great job scouting the route for the next visit... The other possible difficulty with snow is that it can go through a freeze-thaw cycle and turn icy. If that happens, there are places where if you slip, it could be catastrophic. A hiker died a few years ago as a result of a slip while on or near the traverse. If the trail is clear of snow, you will most likely be fine. And, since you do marathons, if you have to turn around (snow has turned me around more than once) you will have plenty of energy and cool temperatures so you can make it back down safe and sound. Good luck and have fun!

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Re: Looking for Advice: First Time Cactus-Clouds hiker

Postby bbkasper » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:04 am

Very helpful. Thank you! In your experience, what should I expect temperature wise? I read to take off early in the morning to beat the desert sun but that temperatures can drop to sub zero towards the end of the trail.

Looking forward to an epic hike!
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Re: Looking for Advice: First Time Cactus-Clouds hiker

Postby Ed » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:06 pm

bbkasper wrote:Very helpful. Thank you! In your experience, what should I expect temperature wise? I read to take off early in the morning to beat the desert sun but that temperatures can drop to sub zero towards the end of the trail.

Looking forward to an epic hike!


Check the forecasted Palm Springs low and high for the day. If you start at sunrise, the temperature will be about the Palm Springs low for the day. Temperatures at the upper tram station tend to be 30F lower. You can also find a 5-day forecast for the upper tram station on the PSAT website.

Be sure you have trekking poles and microspikes.
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Re: Looking for Advice: First Time Cactus-Clouds hiker

Postby zippetydude » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:12 am

Here is the point forecast for Palm Springs: https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.p ... kf5KIpKhhF

for the upper tram (Long Valley): https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.p ... kf5-4pKhhE

and for the peak: https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.p ... kf6WopKhhE

The links stay current so you can use them repeatedly all the way til your trip.

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Re: Looking for Advice: First Time Cactus-Clouds hiker

Postby Ed » Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:27 am

And the Long Valley Ranger Station cam on the PSAT website gives you a very rough idea of what snow to expect on the upper part of the trail. Probably more and harder snow on the trail, because of the north-facing slope and shade.

https://pstramway.com/long-valley-cam/
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Re: Looking for Advice: First Time Cactus-Clouds hiker

Postby bbkasper » Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:25 am

You are all amazing. Thank you so much for the advice.
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Re: Looking for Advice: First Time Cactus-Clouds hiker

Postby Ellen » Mon Mar 02, 2020 5:52 pm

Howdy bbkasper :)

Did you go up Skyline yesterday? if so, you passed us before the picnic tables.

Miles of smiles,
Ellen
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