Hidden Valley Loop

  • Difficulty
  • 1.5km
  • 35m
  • 0.5-0.75h
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This very popular Hidden Valley Loop hike quickly transports hikers from the busy road into a spectacular small valley, entirely surrounded by the classic boulders of Joshua Tree. The loop is well travelled and mostly flat, so everyone can enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Getting there

Enter the park from the West Entrance station below Joshua Tree town. Continue down Park Boulevard for just under 9 miles. Turn right towards Hidden Valley picnic area and nature trail. Here you will find a relatively large parking lot that fills up quickly. We recommend getting here as early as possible.


Total Gain: 35m


Type of Hike Loop
Crowd Levels High
Route Signage Excellent
Toilets At trailhead
Family Friendly Yes
Backcountry Campgrounds None
When to Do Spring and Fall, avoid summer heat

 Detailed Description

From the right side of the parking lot, the trail will head up a narrow canyon between two cliffs. Here is where the entirety of the elevation gain of the hike takes place. The trail is well graded and the elevation gain is minimal, so this shouldn’t pose a problem.

Once you have crested the ridge you will feel totally isolated from the humming roadway. Next, you’ll enter Hidden Valley and be treated to beautiful rock towers and cliffs on every side. Made of monzogranite rock, these formations are the most well known part of the park! They where formed over 100 million years ago when magma cooled into monzogranite beneath the surface of the earth.

Water then eroded sections of the rock to help form the impressive structures we witness today. Flash floods have since helped isolate these rocky islands, washing away the abutting sand and adding to their natural beauty.

The well-marked loop goes around the valley, typically hugging the cliff walls. You will complete the loop and descend the same access trail you came in on, returning to the parking lot and your vehicle.

Insider Hints

  • This is an extremely popular hike. Get here early to avoid the crowds and heat!