Barker Dam Nature Trail is a 1.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Twenty-nine Palms, California that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October.
Directions from Oasis Visitor Center: Follow Twentynine Palms Highway (62) westward to Joshua Tree. In Joshua Tree turn left on Park Boulevard, which becomes Quail Springs Road after crossing Alta Loma Drive. Follow Quail Springs Road to the improved road that leads to Hidden Valley Campground. Continue driving past the campground entrance about one mile to the Barker Dam Trail parking area
I really enjoyed this trail - more than I thought I would. We went in December, during a period of unprecedented visitation, and this hike was expectedly crowded.
The hike wove thru rock formations along the side of a mountain. The formations were so perfect and otherworldly that they appeared fake! It seemed like the radiator springs exhibit in California Adventure, but it was real!
The dam is on the backside of the mountain and it too is stunningly beautiful when the mountains reflect in the still water.
The hike did require some light navigation up and down rocks, but nothing too strenuous. We didn't need hiking poles.
After the dam, the hike turned into more of a nature trail and finished with a native petroglyph site. The site (I am told) was edited for a movie, but it was still cool.
Overall this hike was unexpectedly beautiful, and it became one of my favorites.
If your looking for a quick hike that really shows all features of JT then this is the hike. There's some easy bouldering to a flat trail. There is often water in the dam depending on the time of year. I've even seen multiple big horn sheep.
Lovely trail. However, it's the desert! I can't imagine why the description indicates availability as March through October which includes the heat of the summer.
Easy hike, love the petroglyphs. Not the ones on de dam.
Went camping therefor the first just before Thanksgiving and did a few trails and this was one of them. I was amazed at the beauty of this place. this trail was very easy and a lot of fun. The dam area was dry but still great to see. If your near barker dam its a good idea to do it and mark it off your list.
Very nice hike with great scenery. Be sure to check out the petroglyphs in the rock near the end of the loop. I look forward to returning when water is actually in the "lake".