The Cactus to Clouds Trail from Palm Springs to San Jacinto Peak has the greatest elevation gain of any trail in the United States. Also known as the Skyline Trail, it climbs 8000 feet from the desert to Long Valley, then joins with the main trail to gain another 2600 feet to the summit. The Cactus to Clouds hike is long. You start on the desert floor and climb to 10,804 feet. You gain over 8,000 feet in the first 12 miles and much of this is hiking in dry arid desert conditions. The total elevation gain is over 10,000 feet in 13.8 miles. This trail is nearly always completed by returning from the peak to the upper station of the Aerial Tramway and taking it back into Palm Springs. $12 for tram ride back down (as of July 2012).
Skyline Trail (Cactus to Clouds) is a 18.7 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Palm Springs, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October.
birding hiking nature trips trail running walking forest views wild flowers wildlife rocky scramble