Exploring beyond the Goat Trails and the end of Dunn Road

General Palm Springs area.

Re: Exploring beyond the Goat Trails and the end of Dunn Roa

Postby cynthia23 » Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:13 pm

Hi Florian. Zip, Murray Hill is a delightful hike. It kind of reminds me of the Matterhorn at Disneyland--it's so conical it almost seems fake. There are picnic tables up there. There are wonderful views of 'the big mountains', i.e the San Jacintos. One year on 4th of July I hiked up there at night with a friend with the idea of watching the fireworks in the valley, but we were actually too high up, and could see nothing at all.

You mentioned the yellow bulldozer at the end of the Art Smith trail. Actually we would never want to remove it as it's kind of a treasured landmark for us locals. It is the remnant of 'crazy Mr. Dunn" for whom Dunn Road is named. Dunn was a local developer who during the 1960's got it into his head that the area behind Murray Hill would be perfect for a new development, so he started bulldozing a road straight toward it. He totally neglected to get landowner's permission or even discuss it with them, though. He basically thought, 'if I build it--i.e. a road--then I will get people to finance this thing and give me money to buy the land I'm meanwhile bulldozing my way across." Fortunately no one went along with him, and after a while, the scheme was abandoned, along with a couple of bulldozers. Actually, crazy Dunn was fairly prescient, as the flat valley behind Murray Hill would in fact be perfect for a development, and that's why the Sierra Club threw their weight behind the BLM proposed land swap with the AC tribe--because the tribe agreed to purchase this parcel and give it to the public in the swap. As some know I still don't think that makes it a good swap, but that's another post.

So anyway, I kind of like that crazy yellow bulldozer--because it's part of the history of these trails, including Dunn Road, which, while not leading to any kind of development, is excellent for mountain bikers. In fact, President George W. Bush mountain biked up here while he was in office. Always wondered how the secret service dealt with that. :shock:
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Re: Exploring beyond the Goat Trails and the end of Dunn Roa

Postby zippetydude » Sat Jun 04, 2016 9:44 am

Picnic tables up on top of Murray Hill? Wow. It seems to me that the Palm Springs area used to have some picnic-table-totin'-fools! They're on Skyline, they're at the top of Art Smith Trail, and they're even on top of an extremely steep hill...kinda cool really.

Cynthia, I know what you mean about old remnants like that bulldozer. While it's anything but natural, it's old enough to be interesting rather than offensive like a newly dumped vehicle would be. Kinda like the plane crash remnants up on San Gorgonio. I'm actually glad the road was built since it didn't lead to development and it allows locals access to an area that would otherwise be very difficult to enjoy. I think I'll see if I can be on top of Murray Hill one morning this fall as the sun rises. Would make for some awesome views and beautiful pics.

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Re: Exploring beyond the Goat Trails and the end of Dunn Roa

Postby cynthia23 » Sat Jun 04, 2016 5:19 pm

Well, be sure and let me know when you're going Zip--maybe we can rendevous up there. I'll have to leave about two hours ahead of you to have a chance of meeting you, I'm afraid. :(
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Re: Exploring beyond the Goat Trails and the end of Dunn Roa

Postby David W » Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:27 pm

I'd like to come too :-)

Weekends for me. Could drop down from camping on SR.
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Re: Exploring beyond the Goat Trails and the end of Dunn Roa

Postby pkirkham » Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:18 pm

Hi guys, I've hiked, run and mtb'd Palm Cyn. and some of the other trails you've mentioned. You can't take bikes down to the Indian Trading Post as previously mentioned but you can ride up the 'Dry Wash' to Dunn Rd. and then down to Cathedral City. Vandeventer trail is a great option to the long sandy slog up the dry wash. heading north and west you can eventually link up with the goat trails as the locals call them. Art Smith trail which starts behind the dozer on Dunn is a great but tough trail to exit onto Hwy 74 eventually....great exploring in the cooler months!!!
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Re: Exploring beyond the Goat Trails and the end of Dunn Roa

Postby cynthia23 » Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:31 pm

Yep, Art Smith is one of my favorites, though normally I start over on Highway 74 and then come out on the Cathedral Canyon Cove. I've seen mountain bikers on it several times. The wash part before the bulldozer is tough because it's all sand but the rest of it is pretty firm.
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Re: Exploring beyond the Goat Trails and the end of Dunn Roa

Postby David W » Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:40 pm

A pic of the ole dozer when it was in operation can be seen here.

http://www.californiadesertart.com/?p=1435
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Re: Exploring beyond the Goat Trails and the end of Dunn Roa

Postby guest » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:20 am

Hi,
As mentioned, there's some good hiking & mt. biking up in that area, just not usually good in summer, (although some mt. bikers do night rides during warmer months).
Zip, since you still run, (I think), you were close to one of the best running / hiking / riding desert trails by the old dozer, Hahn Buena Vista, which goes west, while Art Smith (which terminates at Dunn Rd), goes west.
This whole thing is referred to as The Crossing, (great marathon training), but requires a car shuttle, (I think from Hwy 74 to Trading post is approx. 15 miles).
Hahn descends gently to a jct. you can go left on Vandventer which ends at the Victor, (1 mile from Tadin Post), or right, which takes you to a wash, then veer west to Fern Canyon, then the last bit of Victor to Tradin P. Even Lance Armstrong, (accroding to my buddy who escorted him out there, many yrs. back), commented that it was one of his favorite mt. bike rides.
When I was training for Catalina marathon, I'd do some killer loops out there, but those gradual climbs & descents can be deceiving, and draining, especially when it's over 80F.
Dunn Rd. to Hahn & loop back on Vandeventer would be a nice, tougher run / hike / bike.
And, if you want to avoid starting at the top of Cathedral Cove, (where Dunn Rd. does), there's even a small connector trail some horse folks put in (at my request), from the lower section of the north side of Murray Hill, aka Clara Burgess, (I know, it's confusing), but, maybe Hiking J will do his map magic, (just don't raise to much attention to this area until fall).

Fun fact: Agencies & others paid to have one of those dozers pulled up the Dunn Rd. (yeah, took an ever bigger dozer to do it!), for a bit of nostalgia for the attempted development / road. I'm assuming they took care to remove an potential enviro risks.
2nd Fact: Tim Blixseth, (former owner of Porcupine Ridge, the 18 hole private estate top of Rancho Mirage cove, now owner by Larry Ellison), bought a piece of land at the beginning of Dunn Rd. (presumably to piss off BLM, who controls most of the rest of the Dunn Rd.), so BLM had to drive all the way to top of Dunn, at the fringe of Pinon Pines community.

Anyway, enjoy exploring when it cools down. I know some bikers who ride up & down Dunn, it's a tough pull, (close to 4k gain & loss). The lastest is BLM & other wilderness agencies won't do much to maintain the rd., as it's in the Monument, and much was illegally built.
Now, the tribe also owns land up there, but think their most interested in the land-swap land with the BLM in easier, more developable dirt.

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Re: Exploring beyond the Goat Trails and the end of Dunn Roa

Postby David W » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:31 am

The sand always comes up...living in a desert, I keep thinking about getting one of the fat tire bikes that are becoming more popular. I think with a fat, mild tread tire, and low enough air pressure, one could get over that sand much easier.
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Re: Exploring beyond the Goat Trails and the end of Dunn Roa

Postby guest » Tue Jun 07, 2016 12:07 pm

You may be right Dave, never ridin one either, (the tires & rims are surprisingly light), I'm sure a bit more rolling resistance.
Haven't been up there in many years, sure there's plenty of erosion after the last few summers.

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