Eisenhower Mtn. - Not the one you're all thinking about in the Presidentials in NH. This Eisenhower is located in Palm Desert California, situated directly in the middle of where the San Jacinto Mountains meet the Santa Rosa Mountain range.
Trail view w/ desert brush on both sides.
It lies at the back end a 360 acre nature preserve kept up by the Living Desert Zoo in Palm Desert. Through the preserve runs a 4 mile long hiking trail, covered with think desert brush and desert wildflowers, which will lead you along the rocky edges of the foot of the lower Santa Rosa's. Eventually you'll be climbing up and around tiny Eisenhower Mtn. At the top you'll get a good view of Indian Wells and Palm Desert as well as feel the warm desert breeze blowing in your face.
I'd say the best time to do this short hike would be in the spring when the desert wild flowers are in bloom. It can be incredibly hot on the desert floor in the summer and it wont be much cooler on top of Eisenhower as it is not a high mountain.
Looking west to see San Jacinto Peak on the Horizon
Looking West you can see the Summit of San Jacinto Peak which appears just over a small nearby rocky outcropping. It's quite a site to see Jacinto covered in snow during the early spring!
Pack a lunch and make this fun little summit into a two or three hour event!
Getting to the Living Desert Zoo is quite easy.
From The 10 (Interstate 10) Take either the Monterey Ave or Cook St exits in Palm Desert (they are a mile apart) and proceed south on the road until you come upon Frank Sinatra Dr. Take Monterey if you're coming from the LA Direction and Cook St. if you're coming from the La Quinta direction.
If you take Monterey Ave, make a left onto Frank Sinatra Blvd and follow the road until you come to a four way intersection. Take a right onto Portolla Ave and take it all the way to the base of the mountains (about 5 miles down). Once you cross over rt111 you'll be close to the entrance which is on the left.
If you take Coot St. Make a right onto Frank Sinatra Blvd and follow the road until you hit a four-way intersection. Make a left onto Portalla Ave a proceed with the directions listed above.
The trailhead to the nature preserve is behind the Zoo. I'm 99 percent positive you must pay the zoo entrance fee of 10 or 12 dollars to get into the nature preserve and hike the trail.
You must pay the zoo entrance fee to get access to the trailhead. It's cheap and the hike is fun but they really shouldn't charge people to get back to the trail.
External LinksThe Living Desert Zoo