Social Distancing on Local Hikes

General Palm Springs area.

Social Distancing on Local Hikes

Postby Perry » Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:24 am

The popular single track trails are way too crowded right now. Please share these links or contribute more links if you agree.

Here are a couple less-crowded access points to the Palm Canyon Wash:
https://goo.gl/maps/yq2E4fbuWSQi7ijd9
https://goo.gl/maps/hocqeJ4msh6LChGB6

Dunn Road (dirt), a 4000-foot climb:
https://goo.gl/maps/kcKGnmne5Xb6ZgU6A

Tramway Road (paved), a 2000-foot climb:
https://goo.gl/maps/6HBUPbTvyrHc29KN7

Demuth Park bike path (paved with sandy shoulder):
https://goo.gl/maps/hBXAggo4WY5XXEE87

Bogert Trailhead:
https://goo.gl/maps/iaDbCxiE4kJd4vvTA

Rimrock is a dirt road but is very crowded. Top of La Quinta Cove is probably similar right now.

The worst: Bump n' Grind, Homestead, Museum, Araby. Even Garstin and Lykken are crowded. North North Lykken is single track but not super popular.

I have never done the trails near the national monument visitor center off Hwy 74. Art Smith is somewhat popular single track. Hoppalong Cassidy is not frequently used, but the major access points are. The Palm Desert wash is good for social distancing.
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Re: Social Distancing on Local Hikes

Postby Ed » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:09 am

Thanks, Perry. I shifted to Dunn Road from the BumpNGrind Loop. Which is truly awful. Much of the trail is so narrow two people can't pass shoulder to shoulder, one person must step aside. The last time I was on it, the trail was swarming with people, more than normal I thought. I thought I might be able to access the wide dirt road section via a spur road down to the Magnesia Falls neighborhood. But the people there seemed to have become successful in closing it off.
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Re: Social Distancing on Local Hikes

Postby RichardK » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:28 am

We moved to Florida a few years ago. I noticed that the local parks and nature preserves are drawing a lot more people than normal. State parks and public beaches are closed. So, there are not many places open that are near population centers. Public lands in the interior of the state are open to individual recreation, but they are 45 to 90 minute drives away. The distance deters a lot of people.
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Re: Social Distancing on Local Hikes

Postby Plante » Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:55 am

Adding to this there are lots of folks who don't normally hike, which is fine, but that brings a lack of etiquette in some cases. On that note, back east where I'm from, the custom is allow descending hikers the right of way, as they are usually going faster, and the ascender appreciates a few seconds of rest. Out here I noticed it goes back and forth, with many ignoring any right of way and just barging past you on single-file trails.
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Re: Social Distancing on Local Hikes

Postby zippetydude » Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:17 am

Actually, the generally accepted convention is that uphill hikers have the right of way! This is from the REI site:

It seems that many hikers—even experienced ones—may not know or always remember this, but hikers going uphill have the right of way. This is because in general hikers heading up an incline have a smaller field of vision and may also be in that “hiking rhythm” zone and not in the mood to break their pace. Often an uphill hiker may let others come downhill while they take a breather, but remember that’s the uphill hiker’s call.

I have found that generally the trails are so empty compared to sidewalks and busy city streets that passing is no problem, and often hikers will stop and talk a bit just out of natural friendliness. If we meet on the trail and you're going downhill and I'm going up, you're still welcome to take the right of way anytime!

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Re: Social Distancing on Local Hikes

Postby Plante » Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:31 am

That's funny, the customs changing over time and by region. Going back to the '80s in the Adirondacks, it was definitely descenders. New Yorkers and Californians drive differently, makes sense they'd hike differently. :D In the end, it's whoever wants to get by more in each interaction, anyway, it's all good.
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Re: Social Distancing on Local Hikes

Postby Ed » Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:52 am

A Californian here. Nice to have a discussion on a less serious subject. I have never been able to keep straight who has the right of way, or thought it was important. Being a slow poke now, I tend to automatically give the right of way to others. I have encountered people who insist on giving me the right of way when I don't really want it. Some Scout troops have clearly been seriously indoctrinated on the subject. I do object to bikers and runners coming down from behind me assuming they have the right of way, so they don't have to slow down. Particularly annoying when you have a dog with you.

Getting back to a serious matter, I think we should be moving from narrow trails to wide ones, preferably roads, in popular hiking areas. If you want to take the right of way now, a cough should do the trick. I do wonder about the closure of fitness centers. With proper controls, they would perhaps be much safer than supermarkets and narrow popular trails. They lend themselves to controls much better than many other activities and places. Wish I owned a fitness center now. I am paying monthly fees to two.

The RMRU website lists 6 operations for February. Hope it did not continue into March. The Coachella Valley has a very disproportionate percentage of California Covid-19 deaths. About 1% of the state population and cases. Percentage of deaths once 20%, seems to have declined to about 6%.

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Re: Social Distancing on Local Hikes

Postby Sally » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:46 am

When faced with the right of way dilemma, I always think of good ol' Chip 'n' Dale. "After you." "No, no, after you." "No, I think I must insist, you first." etc. Personally I appreciate an excuse to rest while I am ascending. I do not appreciate runners and bikers who assume that they have the right of way. Most of the time I am startled out of my hiking boots when they suddenly appear stealthily out of nowhere. It leaves me no time to figure out which way to jump.
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Re: Social Distancing on Local Hikes

Postby Sose » Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:39 pm

Usually I hear others approaching and jump above a little and let them by.
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Re: Social Distancing on Local Hikes

Postby bytebit » Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:14 am

Dunn Road is ideal for long hikes if one prefers very few folks around. However, watch out for bikers (weekend especially). Two other trails is not used often is Hopalong Cassidy to the Cross and back. However, to connect with that trail one must get on the popular Art Smith trail for a short distance. The other is the north section of the North Lykken Trail starting from the corner of N. Crescent and Via Monte Vista in the Las Palmas neighborhood in Palm Springs. One can even hike right next to a waterfall as well. The views are good, too! ---- Does anyone know if the Black Mountain trail on Hwy 243 is open? Also, try your best to maintain the social-distance protocol. Happy and safe hiking, David
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