My folks are snowbirds who spend their winters in the Coachella Valley Sprawl-o-plex. It's pretty much a classic southern California suburban landscape, but it's surrounded by lots of interesting natural landscapes. The San Jacinto Mountains loom above the valley to the west. Joshua Tree National Park is pretty close to the north.
I had heard that there were some good mountain biking trails, but after many years of visiting my parents there, I had never found one that I thought was worth going to back to see again.
My dad gave me a guidebook for cycling routes in the Palm Springs area last year. I cracked the book open Thursday morning, picked a promising-looking trail, and then used mapquest to figure out how to get to the trailhead.
Guess what? It was pretty damned good:
Lots of people up there, all of them on foot. I saw exactly zero other mountain bikers. But that's OK, there isn't anything wrong with walking. People seemed pretty OK with the idea that I was riding, though some were kind of incredulous.
The best news about this trail, I now know how to use it to make a nice fat loop with the ride that I did Friday.