From Joshua Tree town, head west along Highway 62 (also know as 29 Palms Highway) for 2 miles. Turn left onto Avalon Avenue then continue as it turns into Palomar Avenue. After just over 2 miles you will reach a junction with Joshua Lane, turn left here. At the end of the road turn right onto San Marino Dr. and follow this road all the way to the campground. Along most of the route there are signs leading towards Black Rock Campground. Just before you reach the campground turn right onto the dirt road leading towards the horse campground. Follow this road past some park service buildings to its end, where you will find the small dirt parking lot.
Total Gain: 120m
|Type of Hike||Loop|
|Toilets||At campground shortly before trailhead|
|Family Friendly||If they are OK with a small amount of climbing then yes|
|When to Do||Spring and Fall, avoid summer heat|
Find the trailhead on the far left side of the parking lot. The path will head out into the plane, and then veer slightly left as it climbs up a gully. Here, you will pass by plenty of desert shrubs as well as several large Joshua Trees.
As you ascend the gully the grade never gets too steep. Looking back you will have incredible views of the western hills of Joshua Tree National Park. Finally you will wind around to the left and start climbing the ridgeline to get to the summit. At the top of this small knoll you will have truly panoramic views of this quiet section of the park. Looking directly across the valley, towards where you parked, you will be able to see the South Park Peak.
Further in distance you will be able to see plenty of rolling mountains, and even the city of Joshua Tree. This hike has high ‘bang for buck,’ as the climb is relatively easy but has absolutely incredible views! Remember to sign the small summit register before starting your descent.
The descent continues along the trail, heading more directly back towards your parked car.
- There is little wind in this section of the park, so the heat can be stifling. Leave early to enjoy the cooler mornings!
- The dirt road is easily passable by sedans, however take care to go around the blind corners slowly.