Starting at a mere 500 feet in a Palm Springs parking lot and rising to 10,500 feet at the top of San Jacinto peak, the Cactus to Cloud trail is something to reckon with. Given its extreme ascent (10,000 feet in 16 miles, or 625’ per mile) it’s been dubbed in some quarters one of the hardest trails in the world.
Another component of this trail’s prowess is the temperature swings it can throw at you. At the base, temps climb as high has 115+ degrees and, at the summit, plummet to as low as sub zero.
Today i took a little spin on the Cactus to Cloud trail. It was my first time on the beast so i chose to experience some of its grandeur by climbing 4,000 feet in 5 miles, just enough to get taste of what the full enchilada might taste like. I must say that the flavor was enticing and spiced with magnificent views of neighboring San Gorgonio, the Coachella Valley, cactus and wildflowers.
I’m looking forward to returning for the full course.
P.S. If you’re looking for the other kind of Enchilada, check out Las Casuelas in downtown Palm Springs. They make a fine one that goes down very well with a Cadillac Margarita.