Murray Canyon Trail in Palm Springs, CA

Murray Canyon Trail cuts through the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument near Palm Springs, California. Hikers and horses are welcome to use this trail, but dogs are not allowed.




4.7 miles


600 feet


2.5 hours

Route Type

Out and back

Pets Allowed


Trail Begins

Andreas Canyon Parking Lot trailhead

Gear / To Bring

  • Sun protection (glasses, hat, sunscreen)
  • Water (at least one liter per hour on the trail)

Best Seasons

October – March


Andreas Canyon Parking Lot


Not allowed



Murray Canyon Trail Location

The entrance to Murray Canyon shares a trailhead with the Andreas Canyon parking area in the Indian Canyons park. There’s very little shade as you wind your way through the twists and turns of the meandering canyon, so bring plenty of sun protection and water to avoid dehydration.

There’s a $12 fee to enter the park, but it’s worth every penny for this stunning desert hike. You’ll see wildflowers, palm trees, and even an oasis waterfall along the way. Most of the trail is easy to moderate, with a steep push that verges on a scramble just before you turn back.

Murray Canyon Trail Length

You can modify the length of your Murray Canyon Trail hike in several ways. Drive past the picnic area to the next trailhead to cut a little over half a mile off the total distance. Or, if you’d rather not backtrack after you reach the waterfall and turn back, you can hang a right at Coffman Trail. It reconnects with Murray Canyon near the trailhead for a 4.7-mile hike.

Murray Canyon Trail Hours

Murray Canyon Trail is inside a National Monument area managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The trail’s open hours change regularly, so check with the San Rosa and San Jacinto National Monument Visitor Center to confirm your plans before you set out.

Murray Canyon Trail Reviews

Visitors say that Murray Canyon is one of the best hikes in the Palm Springs area. The waterfall isn’t massive, but it’s a pleasant surprise to see it weaving and trickling down the desert rock formations.

The water attracts lots of wildlife, and reviewers report seeing bighorn sheep. One person noted they crossed paths with a popular singer on the trail. That probably happens fairly frequently on Murray Canyon Trail, considering its proximity to the celebrity resort town of Palm Springs.

However, some hikers have reported large amounts of horse manure on and around the trail. If you’re sensitive to unpleasant smells, you may want to steer clear of this trail. Groups of horseback riders sometimes block the trail for long distances, too, so be prepared to slow down if you get caught in a bottleneck.

If you go during peak season – March through October – try to get to the trailhead as close to sunrise as possible. Crowds can get pretty thick at this location, and rangers will turn people away if the park reaches capacity. The morning hours also give you some of the best shade you’ll get all day, so it’s worth getting up early.

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Featured image via World of Waterfalls