M. Bamberg and M.J. Hill

The Coachella Valley Link offers rewarding biking opportunities that are sure to knock you right in shape. Extending 40 miles from Palm Springs to Indio, the Coachella Valley Link traverses mostly flat desert land that passes over multiple dry washes that turn to steams in winter and spring. Anyone can use the multi-use pathway, designed for cyclists, pedestrians, and other non-motorized transportation.  

The trail follows the path of the dry Whitewater River, as it winds through the valley.  It acts as a drainage basin when the valley receives heavy rain or excessive snowmelt. As temperatures rise moving into summer, it’s a site best seen from a bike or an electric scooter early in the day.  Multiple entrances to the trail contain mid-century modern overhangs that offer shade and sloped roofs that soar skyward and colorful public art installations.

While the trail isn’t fully complete, three sections offer a pleasant ride. 

If you’re thinking it’s too hot, consider the advantage of riding with a group. 

Here is the skinny on the trail: 

  • Since the trail is divided into segments, you can select the area in which to ride. 
  • The CV Link stretches across the Coachella Valley, connecting various cities including Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, and Indio.  
  • The speed limit on the Link is 25 mph.
  • Depending on your starting point in Palm Springs, you can access the CV Link from various locations.
  • According to Maps section of the CV Link webpage, there are currently three segments of CV Link open to ride: 
  1. The first segment of CV Link runs 2.3 miles between Ramon Road in Cathedral City and Vista Chino in Palm Springs. 
  1. The second segment of CV Link open is approximately 1 mile and runs adjacent to Demuth Park in Palm Springs. 
  1. The third segment of CV Link open is on-street in the City of Palm Desert and consists of 3.5 miles running from the Bump n’ Grind trailhead to the College of the Desert and ultimately ending at the wash near Deep Canyon Road. Other segments are being constructed as right-of-way is available. 
  • It’s essential to check the current trail conditions before embarking on your ride, as weather and maintenance can affect accessibility. Throughout the year,  excessive wind can make riding challenging. Beware of summer, as temperatures rise well above the century mark. Rise early, ride, and return by 10 am to avoid the mid-day heat from May to October. 
  • Water! Water! Water! Carry lots of water, even on cool winter days. Desert heat can dehydrate you quickly and sometimes lead to heatstroke. 
  • While the CV Link provides a designated pathway, it’s still a good idea to plan your route, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area. 
  • Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and any necessary health supplies for your ride. Carrying a small first aid kit is never a bad idea.