Whitewater Canyon View Loop


Some hikes are fun. Some hikes are challenging. Some hikes are just peaceful. And then, some hikes awake you. This hike was one of those.

This trail is located in Whitewater Preserve in Sand to Snow National Monument.

Whitewater Preserve is located 103 miles east of Los Angeles and 16 miles west of Palm Springs.

There is no entrance fee to this national monument, and the trails are dog-friendly.

After parking in the lot, walk toward the Visitor Center and Ranger Station. The trailhead is across from the Ranger Station.

There are several hiking options here.

We went on a weekday morning and had the trails to ourselves. It was peaceful and serene.

If there is a bridge, she takes the bridge even though the water is shallow. It’s like hiking with a person.

We visited in April when the temperature was still cool on some days. It was going to be an unusually cool day in Whitewater, so I decided to try this hike. I am happy I did. I recommend skipping this hike in summer though if you are hiking with a dog. This trail is exposed and has no shade.

Follow the sign for Canyon View Loop. Easy enough.

After turning left here, the climbing begins. Now you are on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). You will run into thru-hikers on this section of the hike.

This moderate hike has a total incline of 617 feet. Anyone in decent shape can do this.

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When you reach the top, there should be a sign for Canyon View Loop. But, if it’s not, go to your left. To your right, PCT continues. The trail levels out. Enjoy the views.

So I mentioned in the beginning that some hikes awake you. Let me explain what I mean. When I spend time in nature, my experience is more spiritual than physical. It’s meditative time away from the fast-paced world and distractions. At the end of any hike, I always feel more grounded and clear-minded than I started. That’s why I enjoy hiking alone with Xena.

Sometimes a hike can invoke deep emotions, and it becomes more than just walking in nature and getting fresh air. When I reached the top of that hill, I had that wonderful experience.

All of a sudden, I feel overwhelmed. I am no longer just looking at what my eyes see but also feel that I am connected to everything my eyes see. Sky, clouds, the earth beneath my feet, and everything in between. I am crying and laughing at the same time because the feeling of love and joy overwhelms me.

Xena feels it too. She’s reflecting my joy at me.

Anyway… When you see this sign, it’s the starting point of the descent.

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Eventually, the trail leads you down to Whitewater Canyon Rd. This pavement portion of the hike isn’t great, but at least it’s short and had a nice scenery.

Look out for a skinny wooden “TRAIL” sign on the left after the bridge.

It leads you to this sandy trail which Xena wasn’t thrilled about. Even though it wasn’t hot to the touch, the heat from the sand was challenging for Xena.

When she wanted to stop and rest for the second time, I carried her. There was no shade. More time she spends on the sand, she wasn’t going to cool down. Thankfully, we only had a little bit more to go to complete the loop.

When we finished the hike, I grabbed the cooler from the car. We settled on one of the picnic tables. We shared a baked sweet potato, a banana, and a hard-boiled egg. These are our usual post-hike fuels. Then, we each ate our own lunch I packed.

Good to Know:

  • Hike Date:  4.27.21
  • Distance:  3.7 miles RT
  • Elevation Gain:  617 ft.
  • Difficulty Level:  Moderate
  • Max Altitude: 2,753 ft.
  • Fee/Permit:  None
  • Trailhead: Whitewater Trail trailhead in Whitewater Preserve
  • Notable: View, restroom, picnic area, no cell phone reception

Get Our Latest Comprehensive Dog-friendly Trail List Here!

Happy Hiking!

8 comments on “Whitewater Canyon View Loop”

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