This is basically the Round Valley Loop hike with an extension to Wellman Divide. It’s a 7-mile out and back hike that takes about 4 hours. The 1-mile stretch to the Divide is more challenging than the Willow Creek and Round Valley trails. Stunning views at the Divide coupled with changes in vegetation and cooler weather (a treat in the summer) make the uphill trek worthwhile.
When you arrive at the parking lot of Valley Station, you’ll have to buy a ticket for the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway – the largest rotating aerial tramway in the world (don’t forget to get your AAA discount!). The narrated tram ride will take you up almost 6000 feet in about 8 and a half minutes and is quite an experience in and of itself. You’ll have full 360-degree views of narrow Chico Canyon and the desert floor while you’re ascending, and when the tram passes one of the few towers along the way you’ll even get a split second of weightlessness – which can make for a noisy but fun ride.
Round Valley is an attractive green meadow, popular as a camping site, and also a nice place for day hikers to take a break. Water is available, but it must be purified before drinking.
The trail continues uphill, steadily ascending over the next mile to reach Wellman Divide. Here, you can enjoy a great view to the south, including Toro Peak and the Palmoar Mountains before making your final push to the divide.
- Near: Palm Springs, CA
- Distance: 7 miles round trip
- Elevation Gain/Loss: 1100 ft
- Hike Time: 4 hours
- Difficulty: 7/10
- Trail Condition: mostly well maintained trail
- GPX File Download: >>CLICK HERE<<
- Dog Friendly: No
- Kid Friendly: Yes
Getting to the trail head:
From Los Angeles – Hwy 10 (east) to Hwy 111 (east) to Tram Way (right) to Palm Springs Tram to trail head.