Mastodon Peak Loop Trail is a 2.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Desert Center, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from April until October.
This is a relatively easy hike. Lots of desert plants and flowers to see along with beautiful views. On clear days you can see the Salton Sea. There is an old mine to explore (only from outside as entrance has been sealed).
Great hike at Joshua Tree. Not to bad for Children. Go early before it gets hot. Stay on trails. One rattlesnake when climbing to the peak.
Beautiful flowers, mild hike
Nice wildflowers in the lower portion in the spring. Look for the Chuckwallas (big lizards) in the upper portion.
If you’re coming to Joshua Tree National Park from the I-10 and don’t have much time, Mastodon Loop Trail has old mines, great views, and cool rocks to climb. Pretty much everything but the Joshua Trees! (Date hiked: February 16, 2013.) Read the full write-up at: http://www.greeneadventures.com/2013/03/21/mastodon-peak-the-most-convenient-hike-in-joshua-tree-national-park/
Good hike for sunset, out from the parking lot and back. The late afternoon light made the rocks and plants glow, and the heat of the day is gone. If you are feeling adventurous, scrambling up to the top is totally worth it!
The trail to Mastodon Peak is a three mile round trip. Zebra-tailed lizards, basking in the warming sun, would carefully gauge when they thought we were too close and then skitter away. The trail started to climb; in some places steps had been carved in the rock. When we stopped to rest we would survey the expanding vista, with snag-toothed mountain peaks back dropped by mildly hazy (yes, air pollution from LA two hours to the west) skies.
Plants painted the landscape with a full palate. Ocotilo bushes, whose branches resemble calamari tentacles thrusting from the ground, were covered in tiny green leaves, with bright red flowers crowning the branches. Orange Chuparosas contrasted with pale orange Desert primroses. Chubby squat cacti covered in pink spines put the last brushstroke on the landscape.
Off the trail a Whitetail Antelope Squirrel dashed back and forth looking for seeds, its tail held over its back like a parasol. As we sipped water from our bottles I reflected on how he didnt need to drink a drop of water in his life, getting all his moisture from his food.
The last climb to the top of Mastodon Peak was a scramble, bracing our feet and hands on boulders and pulling ourselves up bit by bit. At the top it was like floating over the desert, with wide views of the surrounding mountains and the Creosote speckled desert floor spread out below.
Great hike very easy well marked had a wonderful afternoon. Saw a desert turtle, coyote, rattle snake and many diuferent lizzards. Loved the rock formations and great views
It is a very beautiful hike if you enjoy National Parks and the Desert. I would definatly hike this again if I go to Joshua Tree National Park again.
This trail was great because it can be for either the beginner or the expert hiker depending on the paths you choose. You can do a lot of awesome bouldering too if that is was you're into, though it's not necessary to make it to the peak. There are a lot of informative plaques along the way to educate you on the plant and wildlife. Be careful of African Bees though! A swarm flew over our heads....it was amazing, but scary. If you don't bother them though, they won't bother you.
Trail is easy to follow and if your into easy to moderate rock climbing you should make a stop. Mid way through the hike there is an opportunity to rig up and do some short climbs with excellent view of the Joshua Tree National Park valleys and surrounding mountains. There are other trails and climbing opportunities in the park that are much better, but this has both. Take plenty of water! I did this trail with my 5 y/o son, so the going is pretty easy.