Palm Springs in December is Perfect!

Cold nights and semi-warm days is Palm Springs in December. This trip was the fifth December trip to Palm Springs and I was able to get out and hike, which was great. Managed four hikes including the Coachella Valley Preserve, which although in the middle of nowhere, was fascinating. It sits on the San Andreas fault line and the water that seeps through the earth creates enough water for these palm trees to grow in the middle of the sandy desert.

McNeil Point Trail

This hike has it all: lots of elevation, tons of blowdown, scrambling, water, wildflowers and amazing views. We first did the Bald Mountain loop and then hit several partial trails including the PCT, Cairn Basin, Timberline Trail and even a little of the Ramona Falls Trail (by accident). We went high above the two ponds to the McNeil Point shelter (a very solid stone structure). Scrambling down from the shelter was a bit perilous but overall my body felt it had done every inch of the 12 miles my GPS told me we did by the end!

Killen Creek Mt. Adams Hike

I hiked Killen Creek trail to Mt. Adams on a beautiful fall day. The Killen Creek trailhead was about a 2.5 hour drive from Portland. The trail is 3.1 miles with elevation gains of about 1400 feet. The trail ends at the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT) junction. The Killen Creek trail is fairly well groomed just an uphill hoof with a beautiful meadow and first glimpse of Mt. Adams that will make you want to keep going!

Once you get to the PCT trail and hike to the High Camp trail, you will quickly realize the first 3.1 miles was a piece of cake compared to what is next. The rocks are pretty steep and a little slick given the snow that was present. We made it, though, and landed on a beautiful glacier. With the right equipment and bravado, it would have been fun to get to the top but we felt good with what we accomplished! And 6900 foot elevation was certainly something to celebrate.