Featured in the Nobody Hikes in L.A. Guidebook!
Text and photography copyright 2010 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. The author does not take any responsibility for injuries sustained during hikes or walks on the routes described here. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.
Bump and Grind loop
- Location: East of Palm Springs. From I-10, take the Ramon Road exit (130) toward Bob Hope Drive. Merge onto Ramon, and then go left on Bob Hope Drive. After 5.6 miles on Bob Hope Drive, go left on highway 111 for 0.5 miles and take a right onto Painter’s Path. Go 0.5 miles to the trailhead, which will be on the right.
- Agency: Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument
- Distance: 3 miles
- Elevation gain: 800 feet
- Difficulty Rating: PG
- Suggested time: 1.5 hours
- Best season: September – June
- USGS topo maps: “Rancho Mirage”
- Recommended gear: hiking poles; sunblock; sun hat
- More information: here
- Rating: 7
Common sense would seem to dictate that the words “Palm Springs”, “Hiking” and “Summer” should never be used in the same sentence, but surprisingly, the Bump and Grind trail, is popular even on days when temperatures approach the triple digits. With an early or late enough start (after the sun sets behind the ridge to the west of the loop), this trail is quite manageable. That I decided to hike it at high noon is immaterial.
From the Mike Schuller Trailhead, head up the right fork and begin your ascent. Right away, the rock formations are fascinating, mainly granite, baked into interesting colors by the sun. The superimposition of the desert scenery and the flat expanse of residential and retail development surrounding it is one of the trademarks of this trail. The Schuller trail heads up around a couple of switchbacks, past a nursery and meets up with a fire road at 0.9 miles. This is the actual Bump and Grind trail, popular with mountain bikers. Your vantage point on the ridge gives you nice views of the San Jacinto and San Bernardino Mountains.
The trail continues its climb, topping out at 1.8 miles where the road takes a hard right and is blocked by a gate. Here, pick up the Herb Jeffries trail to the left and head southeast. From here, you get great views of remote El Toro Peak and the Santa Rosa Mountains. On the steep descent, you will notice a few other trails branching off, but stay to the left. After 0.6 miles on the Jeffries trail, pick up the Hopalong Cassidy trail at a four-way junction and follow it back to the parking lot. During this last stretch, you will be able to see Painter’s Path and the stores behind it, so that can guide you home.
Needless to say, water is your friend on this trail. Bring extra!