One of the most popular trails among local cardio-enthusiasts, the Mirage Trail (also known as the "Bump-n-Grind" trail, the "Desert Drive Trail", the "Patton Trail", and the "Desert Mirage Trail") begins with it's trail-head along Highway 111 on the border of Rancho Mirage and Palm Desert. There are a few start points for this trail. Books will tell you that you should access it via Painters Path (behind Target in Palm Desert), however the city of Palm Desert recently published a map that shows the Mirage trail-head on the Rancho Mirage/Palm Desert city border with the Mike Schuler and Hopalong Cassidy trails beginning on Painter's Path. Confusing, right?
Unfortunately the confusion doesn't stop with the maps. None of the trails in this network have signage. There are BLM posts and dog warnings, but short of those, there are no other markers or signs. This makes for what I can only imagine as a confusing trek for those who are not familiar with the area. In addition, the a fore mentioned trail map as created by the city of Palm Desert is not to scale and difficult to follow. There are a number of goat trails which adds to the confusion and a few of the trails from the map are so small that they really don't deserve a formal name in my opinion, but I digress.
The Mirage Trail is a cardio workout to be sure as it affords the
hiker with a steady assent up 1,000 feet. With the exception of the
first .25 mile, the trail is generally sandy and quite wide (can
accommodate 4 persons side-by-side). The width of the trail is
advantageous as I noted approximately 30 people on the trail during my
hike. It's a good multi-use trail (hikers, runners, joggers, dog
walkers) which will have your back to the city below until you reach the
top (pictured above). The top is a sandy plateau affording people a
beautiful view and good rest before the return down.
There are a couple trails (Herb Jefferies and Mike Shuler trails) that diverge from the Mirage Trail and are worth exploring. As an explorer and nature enthusiast, this trail ranks pretty low on my list of local hikes due to it's popularity and unimaginative path (really a road), however it is a great training path for anyone seeking better personal wellness and/or training for larger hikes.
Mirage Trail, Bump-n-Grind Trail, Desert Drive Trail, Patton Trail, Desert Mirage Trail, Herb Jefferies, Mike Shuler