dogs on leash
Desert solitude in Southern California. Singing sand dunes, volcanic cinder cones, Joshua tree forests, and carpets of wildflowers are all found at this 1.6 million acre park. A visit to its canyons, mountains and mesas will reveal long-abandoned mines, homesteads, and rock-walled military outposts. The park offers great hiking, backpacking, camping, 4-wheel driving and wild flower viewing. Located between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Mojave provides serenity and solitude from major metropolitan areas.
Being from the northeast, i really enjoyed the difference of hiking a desert trail. Started my hike around 10 am; after about 15 minutes on the trail, I ran into 2 hikers on their return. After that, I had the trail to myself the rest of the day. Joshua trees of course were a real treat to see. Also saw a blacktail jackrabbit and a whole bunch of small Desert night lizards. View from the top was worth the sweat!
This trail is not very noticable. My friend and I never even found the loops, but instead just climbed each ring individualy. It was kind of fun with the rock climbing, but lots of loose rocks. NOT very child friendly. Also the road up to the place is pretty rough. The view at the top was fantastic. If it wasnt windy I could of stayed for hours.
Trail progresses up a mild incline for most of the way through the largest and densest Joshua Tree forest in the world. The last half mile or so of the 3-mile trail became somewhat steeper, leading up to a rocky incline and spectacular overlooks. The diversity of desert plant life was amazing as was the size of the ears on the jackrabbit we scared out of his hiding place. Only three other hikers on the trail and weather was perfect in this late-April time of year.
Everyone focuses on the rings, but the entire trail is thoroughly enjoyable. The entrance to Banshee Canyon is spectacular and offers great photo ops. Some light-to-moderate rock scrambling leads up to the rings, which are a challenge but doable with, if necessary, a hand from someone above. Not a hike to be done alone, as a fall from the rings could be disabling. Perfect time to do is early spring – mid-April to early May. Also spotted a female phainopepla (small dark bird with noticeable crest) on high ground beyond the rings. A great day all around!
WoodDude 7. on Lava Tubes Trail
Small, but interesting.
Most folks think of Hawaii when you mention lava tubes, but there are a few here and there around California, due to the tectonic forces that shaped the state. This one is small, dusty, and has a low ceiling in places. Certainly worth exploring if you're in the area, but I wouldn't consider this a destination hike. Better as a side trip after exploring the nearby Kelso Dunes, or when driving the Mojave Road.
Loved this hike. Tons of wildlife including jackrabbits. The cattle won't charge you, they are scared of you. The first big wash you get to, turn left (east) and follow down until you see more trail markers. Then you start heading south again. That was the only part I got off track a bit. The trails are very well marked. I turned around at the high saddle 3.6 miles in. You will see where I mean. Climb some boulders on a nearby hill. You have views of Table Mountain, Mid Hills, and when you get to the high saddle you have views of the volcanic features towards Hole in the Wall.
This place is fantastic and, from what I have seen, empty of people. I recommend getting a hiking book if you plan to explore this place for a couple days. There are not many marked trails in the preserve so you have to hike cross country which can be very tricky. I got off track by miles a couple of times. I do recommend the Mid Hills trail, which is well marked. Mid Hills is also an awesome place to camp.
My boyfriend and I camped out here for a night in December 2011. It was freezing cold at night, but it was very secluded. They had free campsites that you can drive to and pre-made fire pits in the camping spots. It was a nice little get-a-way for the night. We were going to hike to the mines (which was a couple miles near our camping site), but we decided to head home. They do have this old area where they used to herd cattle (I'm assuming). It was pretty cool! I definitely wouldn't mind going back there!
James G. on Lava Beds Trail
Since I am new to this I am probably over rating the trail but I loved it. At 66 I have just spent a year getting back in shape and this was my first test. The trail was relatively easy but care is needed particularly coming back down as the loose cinder stones are tricky. My wife slipped twice and got a little bruised. It would have been better had we had walking sticks to help on the way down. Live and learn. The view from the top was terrific.
I.m. P. on Barber Peak Loop Trail
I did this trail in combination with the two other major trails at the Hole In The Wall, Rings Loop and Hole In The Wall to Mid Hills. After exiting the Banshee Canyon, part of the Rings Loop, I connected to the Barber Peak Loop trail going counterclockwise around Barber Peak. There are some moderate gains but nothing too difficult. There are some great views of the Table Mountain and Barber Peak itself.
The trail is well marked. It crosses a number of four wheel roads and well used cow paths. Towards the north end the trail follows a road a good bit and eventually meets up with the Hole In the Wall trail. i followed the Hole In the Wall trail for a few miles then turned around and competed the Barber Peak Loop going counter clockwise.
Since I did all or a portion of all three, my total time was 9m in 4.5 hrs.
The Barber Peak loop itself is 6mi. This should take you anywhere for 3-4hrs depending on your pace.