The weekend is here, and it’s time for another hike in our 52 Hike Challenge. Since we wanted to be able to take the dogs with us this week, we decided to head over to the Pioneertown Mountains Preserve and tackle the Indian Loop Trail Hike.
The Indian Loop Hike is roughly a 6 mile loop that combines 3 different trails – the Pipes Canyon Trail, the Indian Springs Trail, and the Chaparrosa Peak Trail. We did not do the additional Chaparrosa Peak Spur Trail as we were running a little short on time. There are two trailheads – Pipes Canyon Trailhead and Chaparrosa Peak Trailhead. We started at the Pipes Canyon Trailhead for our hike.
The Pipes Canyon Trail is an easy to moderate trail that winds its way up Pipes Canyon. It features a seasonal stream with shaded areas. Portions of this trail are through wetlands which means our pups got a little muddy along the way. We saw some petroglyphs on the side of the trail and the Olsen homestead ruins. A lot of people were just hiking out to the homestead ruins and hiking back. It’s a nice, mellow trail that is well marked and maintained.
The Indian Springs Trail is a moderate to strenuous trail that runs up the steep narrow drainage area of the canyon. Due to the water that flows through the canyon, this trail isn’t as well maintained, but it is well marked. The wind whips through this area, and there is little shade on this trail other than what is offered by some of the boulders. The views are amazing.
The Chaparrose Peak trail has ups and downs with a varying terrain and scenery. The trail is well-marked, but the water erosion causes it not to be as well maintained as the Pipes Canyon Trail. There isn’t much shade on the trail, but there are places to relax amongst the rocks and boulders. Towards the end of the trail, you’ll find a water crossing with a decent sized water hole for the desert.
The dogs were loving every minute of the trail. Of course, they could see more direct routes and always tried to get us to go that way instead of staying on the trail. There were quite a few birds out. The desert plants were starting to flower. While it wasn’t always an easy trail for me (no thanks to my asthma), it was worth every minute of it. The views were amazing, and it was a lot of fun to have the dogs with us.
We were extremely grateful for our hands-free leash while hiking. Plus, I was able to clip Wyatt to D’s leash-belt when the going got a little tough. He wasn’t always happy to have both Wiley and Wyatt – especially going downhill, but he’s awesome like that as he knew it made my hiking easier. We stopped a couple of times on the trail to give the dogs water and eat some of our gluten free protein bites.