Summary: This is a fine and fairly easy introductory hike to Joshua Tree National Park. You get some good mountain views, follow an historic wagon road that leads to the most prosperous of Joshua Tree gold mines. The remains of which are kept behind a chain link fence for their protection.
A shame that so many people would deface and destroy something from our heritage, but they would. If you need an example, visit any mine in the Angeles National Forest.
If you head in at a good pace, you'll be there before you know it. My total hike time for this trip was one hour and ten minutes, and I wasn't even trying to be fast, but if you set out at your leisure, or have elders or children with you, this may just be the hike of a lifetime. There is something here for everyone to enjoy, and that doesn't even mention the arbor of Joshuas on the road to the trailhead.
Trailhead: Take the 10 towards Palm Springs and exit on the 62 heading North. Follow the 62 through the desert hamlets of Morongo, Yucca Valley, and Joshua Tree. From there you will see signs that tell you how far you are from the West entrance to the park. Turn right on Park and follow it to the entrance booth where you'll pay a $10 fee that is good for one week in the park.
Drive about ten miles to Key's View Road, turn right (just before Cap Rock) and follow it until you see a sign for Lost Horse Mine. Drive about a mile down the dirt road to the parking area.
The trail is actually an old wagon road, some washes cross it in places, but it is easy to stay on the trail. (Lat:33.94128 Lon:-116.13556)
Trail Guides for Joshua Tree NP - Lost Horse Mine and Mountain:
Day Hikers Guide to Southern California
by John McKinney (Olympus Press)
by Tom Sinestra and Ann Marie Brown (Avalon Travel)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Winter,
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: Joshua Tree National Park (760)367-5500
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Allen Riedel, who has posted 123 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 3 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Jaimers on 10/27/2012
Just went 2 weeks ago. The mine was interesting. We walked the full Lost Horse Mine Loop and the views were outstanding just beyond the mine. Much of the end of the loop was through a well marked wash (we started seeing the mine first). Nice hike! Would definitely go again.
Reviewed by E.T on 4/13/2011
The trail up to the mine was fun and to see the mine was great, but nothing came close to the views just past the mine on the loop trail. Unbelievable - it felt like you were on another planet. WELL WORTH THE EFFORT!!!
Reviewed by Ian on 1/14/2011
My wife and I just did this Hike, but we extended it to the loop. which I believe adds another 6 miles, The best part of the hike is after the mine, the views that you have are so incredible, you get a 3 dimensional view as you walk rounding the mountains. You must go past the mine for the real Joshua Tree experience. It will add at least 3-4 hours to your hike,it will take you all the way back to your car, so nothing repeats itself. if you have time you have to try this one. very moderate, (1st hike for my wife in years) she was soar the day after but well worth it.
Reviewed by S.D. on 11/28/2010
I did this hike in the beginning of November. The weather was perfect. As a novice hiker, by no means would I qualify this as easy, but seeing the mine was worth the effort. And on the way to the mine, everyone we passed said as much. This hike is a must for anyone planning a trip to Joshua Tree.
Reviewed by T.J. on 10/15/2010
I've only taken this hike once but really enjoyed. I had solitude (which I love in the desert) and enjoyed the vistas although there were some relatively large burn areas. A suggestion is making this the last hike of the day if you're grabbing a few hikes in JT. You're heading west coming back to the trailhead and the light is magical.
Reviewed by B. Wilson on 6/27/2009
We hiked this trail in February of 09. On our way in, the Ranger told us it gets less than a couple inches precipitation a year... but during our entire hike, it hailed (hard) which unfortunately also caused some puddles and were hard to avoid. It was a lot of fun and quite an adventure. It's not the most strenuous of hikes, but it's a decent hike for those wanting to experience JT. The mill was neat. I wouldn't go again for the simple reason that I still haven't seen other parts of the hike. I would take others though if they were interested. Recommended.
Reviewed by Chris V. on 5/31/2009
I have been on this hike several times over the past 25 years, and I still love the hike. The 1st time out to the Lost Horse Mine, there was not a fence around the stamp mill. So, we were able to climb on the structure, pretty cool. We even got to see a Desert Tortoise on one of the hikes. The views are incredible along the trail. Done the loop once, it was incredible, but it did take longer than I had expected. I will be taking my 11 year old son on this hike the next time I go.
Reviewed by missrocky on 3/18/2009
I love a hike with a destination and this one dodn't disppoint! Saw a few Kangaroo rats and lizards along the way. What I liked about it the most was that the switchbacks and elevation didn't KILL YOU...it wasn't too steep but it gave you a great workout! It's exciting when you come around the mountain and see the Mine up on the hill. On the way up, you can see the equiptment that slipped down the mountain over time... it's very cool. The view from the top is NOT to be missed! All and all- a very enjoyable experience!
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