Indio officials Friday will gather at the start of the popular Indio Hills Trail to celebrate recently completed improvements to the pathway, although residents were urged stay away due to COVID-19.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony, originally set for March but postponed due to the pandemic, will go forward at the trailhead near where Golf Center Parkway and 42nd Avenue intersect, west of WorldMark Indio. The ceremony will additionally be livestreamed on the city’s Facebook page at

Despite the improvements technically wrapping up months ago in February, project participants remain elated.

“This is the first trail to open in the eastern Coachella Valley in recent memory,” said Jim Karpiak, executive director of the Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy.

“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,” he said.

Local recreation enthusiasts have hiked a series of unmarked trails and roads known as the Golf Center Trail, Indio Hills Badlands Trail and East Indio Hills Trail in the area well before a new marked five-mile loop trail was completed earlier this year.

The trail now boasts plenty of parking spaces and signage, along with a defined route that helps protect the environment.

The work was a joint project of the city of Indio, the Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy, Friends of the Desert Mountains, Indio Water Authority and the Bureau of Land Management.

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