Ceremonial ribbon cutting for east Coachella Valley Indio Hills Trail and improved trailhead

INDIO –  An opening ceremony of the Indio Hills Trail is set for Nov. 20 at 11:30 a.m. at the end of Golf Center Parkway and 42nd Avenue.

Trailhead with flowers

Trailhead with flowers

The five-mile loop trail was a joint undertaking of the Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy (CVMC), Friends of the Desert Mountains (FODM), City of Indio, Indio Water Authority (IWA) and the Bureau of Land Management.  The project included new parking, fencing, access and safety improvements at the trailhead.  Funding was provided primarily by the Conservancy, the City and IWA.  Volunteers from FODM and local hiking clubs scouted the trail route, built new sections and cleaned up the area alongside it.

Although the trail unofficially opened to the public in the spring, formal recognition of the project was delayed due to COVID-19.  For those reasons, attendance by public officials to the event on Nov. 20 will be kept to a minimum, masks are required, and social distancing will be enforced.  Individual hikes by participants at a later time will be encouraged, in lieu of the traditional inaugural group hike.

“This is the first trail to open in the eastern Coachella Valley in recent memory,” Jim Karpiak, Executive Director of the Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy, said in a prepared statement.  “Although we imagined a grand celebration to mark the occasion, we realize that could be some time away.  Because of that, we didn’t want to let another season pass by without recognizing at least in this small way, the collaborative effort it took to make the Indio Hills Trail happen.”

Closer view of the gate

Closer view of the gate

Featured speakers on Nov. 20 will include Kathleen Fitzpatrick, La Quinta Council member and Chair of the CVMC Board of Directors; Tammy Martin, Executive Director of FODM; Glenn Miller, Mayor of Indio; and Elaine Holmes, Mayor Pro-Tem and CVMC City of Indio Designee.

The trailhead is adjacent to the Coachella Valley Canal and future site of Indio’s Posse Park.  The trail winds through canyons and leads up to the crest of the mud hills that feature rare views looking into the Coachella Valley and at its surrounding mountain ranges.

The new trail in the Indio Hills is also commonly referred to as the Indio Hills Badlands Trail, the East Indio Hills Trail, and the Golf Center Trail.  It is the second of four trail projects spearheaded by the Conservancy and FODM to expand recreational options on public lands in areas underserved by outdoor amenities.  The project will also improve conditions for wildlife and plants through bulk cleanup activities, and by blocking unofficial “social trails” and roads to reduce damaging human impacts, such as off-road vehicle use. Dogs and non-motorized bikes are allowed.




Image Sources

  • Trailhead with flowers: City of Indio
  • Closer view of the gate: City of Indio
  • Rock-formation: City of Indio