Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 33.65028°N / 116.34774°W
Additional Information GPX File: Download GPX » View Route on Map
Activities Activities: Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 2613 ft / 796 m
Sign the Climber's Log


The east face of Coyote Benchmark from La Quinta, California

Rank: Coyote Benchmark is California’s 8172nd highest ranked peak
Prominence: 1153 ft

Coyote Benchmark rises above the community of La Quinta near Palm Springs in southern California. No trail goes to its summit. From the streets of La Quinta, I went to a 1500 ft high saddle between Coyote Benchmark and Indio Mountain, then found my way to the summit.

The summit of Coyote Benchmark provides you with fantastic views of urban sprawl in Coachella Valley. Major peaks of the area such as San Jacinto, San Gorgonio, Santa Rosa and Martinez will also be in good view. Salton Sea can be seen in the horizon.

Getting There

A good place to park is at the designated parking area for Bear Creek Canyon Trail in La Quinta, CA (you will obviously not be following Bear Creek Trail).

From I-10 near Palm Springs, take Exit 139 to Jefferson St. and drive 5.75 miles south. Turn right (west) onto Avenue 52 and go 2.5 miles then turn left (south) onto Avenida Bermudas. Go to the end of the development where you will see designated parking areas on the left.


Starting Elevation: 310 ft
Summit Elevation: 2613 ft
Roundtrip Distance: 7.0 miles per my GPS

Looking west at Coyote benchmark from the parking area.

Coyote BenchmarkCoyote Benchmark

From the parking area, I walked west along Calle Tecate Street to a concrete pathway know as Fred Wolff Bear Creek Trail. Left that trail and went across a dry wash with concrete slopes (there were stairs in the slopes).

Dry wash with concrete wallsDry wash

On the west side of the wash, I headed west toward the 1500 ft saddle between Indio and Coyote Mountains.

Coyote Benchmark and the 1500 ft saddleCoyote Benchmark and the 1500 ft saddle on the right

I actually came across a trail but it ultimately seemed to go the wrong way. I left it and headed toward the saddle. Another faint beaten path appeared and I followed it to the saddle.
Point 2121 ft to the north of the saddle.

Point 2121 ft and the 1500 ft saddle on the leftPoint 2121 ft

Looking back at La Quinta and Peak 1601 ft.

La QuintaLa Quinta and Peak 1601 ft

Zoomed view of an eagle like formation far above the slopes.

Zoomed view of what I called Eagle RockEagle-like formation

At the 1500 ft saddle, Mt. San Jacinto came to view to the northwest.

San Jacinto Peak from the 1500 ft saddleMt. San Jacinto

Point 2078 ft on the south side of the saddle.

Point 2078 ftPoint 2078 ft

Left the 1500 ft saddle and began hiking up the slopes of Point 2078 ft. Became pretty steep farther up.

Above the 1500 ft saddle
above the 1500 ft saddle
above the 1500 ft saddle
Above the 1500 ft saddle

The summit of Coyote Benchmark then came to view again.

The summit of Coyote BenchmarkSummit of Coyote Benchmark

The thorny growth was fortunately sparse.

On the slopes
On the slopes

From the upper slopes

Up the final slopes toward the summit.

Near the summit

This path became a little scary so I found and easier way to the summit.

Near the summit
Drop off near the summit

Views from the summit.

Salton Sea & La QuintaLa Quinta & Salton Sea
Toro Peak & Santa Rosa MountainToro Peak & Santa Rosa Mountain
Martinez MountainMartinez Mountain
Indio Mountain (front) & Little San Bernardino Mountains (far)Indio Mountain
Mt. San GorgonioMt. San Gorgonio
Mt. San JacintoMt. San Jacinto

Red Tape

No permits required.

When to Climb

Winter is the best time to climb. Summer can get dangerously hot.