Explore Deserts - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Deserts Map
off road driving
13 hours ago

great beginners trail, but do not go alone. A few spots can be difficult depending on what trail you take and vehicle you drive. 4wd no problem. 2wd can be challenging for some.

Excellent hike for getting close to eroded badlands & good workout. Sunny and exposed route.

4 days ago

Shapes of big rocks are very unique.

fun easy trail with one spot moderate. 33's, no locker XJ crawled right thru the one section.

great hike today!

14 days ago

Once in a life time trail. recomend for anyone! must do. absolutely will not regret. bring fire lots of firewood. enjoy the night sky and the coyote calling at night. lots of animals signs if u know where to look. bring heater cuz it's cold at night. I traveled west to east. right off the bat is a three feet water crossing. I made it just fine in a stock gx470. heavily loaded with gear guess and dog. start the wake and stay behind the wake. I did it on 2low center diff locked. after that is a rock wall climb. I dented my rear trailing arm mount on the way up. another three feet water crossing is nextbut there is a by pass on the far left of u dont want to get wet again. after that it was just beautiful trails. take lots of pics and enjoy!

Tried to drive up to the trailhead but recent snow will make it difficult to drive past the winter closure gate (45-60 min south of the peak trailhead). Follow the road from the winter closure gate and my tracks in the snow and you can do the Shulman Cove Discovery Loop for a 5.5 mile round trip instead if you wish!

Morning hike today, encountered a couple of hikers with dogs. No problem until dogs proceeded to charge at me which fortunately no harm no foul, but then the owners seemed put off that they had to call off their dogs. I have no problem with dogs and they are allowed on this trail but follow leash rules and all will be good

off road driving
15 days ago

Definitely a great time. Couple of narrow/switchback sections that would be tough for a truck. I did it in a stock Wrangle JL, no problem...other than we started at 4pm. About 1.5 hours in and it was pitch black. Bad call on my part I guess, as it was only my second time off roading, but everything ended up ok. We started on the south end, so we got the first technical part done with plenty of light. Right before you get to the easy section in JTNP, there’s a pretty rocky, difficult section. We got through without any scrubbing or rubbing, so that was good. Big thing... plan your time accordingly, it took us like 3.5 hours from Dillon road to Park Rd in JTNP. Otherwise it was a lot of fun and built a lot of confidence for me in the capabilities of my Jeep. 4x4 and good clearance are a must. Also look out, there’s a lot of “ranges” in the slot canyons to the south on the BLM land, so lots of shooters and gunfire, nothing sketchy, but it just takes one person not paying attention to ruin everyone’s day.

Did this in a stock 2018 Crosstrek the day after Thanksgiving and had no issues. Take it all with a grain of salt as rainfall and use will change conditions so be sure to stop at the visitor's center outside the park, ask a ranger about the road conditions, and pick up one of the tour pamphlets. It was a great day out there and the landscape was beautiful. We ended up spending our entire time in the park in this area because it was away from the crowds.

It was a bit washboardy at the beginning and end but otherwise the trail was in reasonably good shape for us. Definitely would advise against rolling the dice with a sedan or low clearance SUV, though. And there's a bit of loose sand in spots, so 4 or AWD is definitely the way to go.

So it was readily accessible to a soft-roader with good ground clearance like the Crosstrek. Just keep in mind that especially if you're not in a more purpose-built vehicle like a Wrangler, just be prepared and be comfortable with your vehicle. There's no cell service out there, and one of the great selling points of this area is you're not likely to see many other people, so if you break down or get stuck, it could be a while.

Just completed this hike with a friend. The hike is close to town and good length for a quick hike. My GPS said 5.5 miles but we took a few side trips. We were 3 hours door to door and we took our time to look around and take pictures.

off road driving
21 days ago

A great adventure! I recommend doing the trip in 3 days with two overnights. That will allow you to take the time to explore your surroundings. I especially recommend hiking the trail at Fort Piute to check out the petroglyphs. We had two stock 4x4 Grand Cherokees (2012 and 2008) with slightly oversized BFG KO2s. 90% of the trail was easy and about 10% moderate difficulty. Traveling East to West the hill descent into Watson Wash was a bit sketchy- especially as we arrived there at dusk. In its current condition climbing that hill would not be possible in a stock rig. The hill can be bypassed if necessary; two lifted and well equipped wranglers tried to climb it while we were there and had to bypass.

Great Hike. Recommend leaving early or doing in the winter time. Dog friendly with some rocky sections in between.

22 days ago

Easy hike...trail well marked.

Fun but not hard except if you crawl through the rocks. Camped at Mid Hills and hit Mitchell Caverns for a great adventure weekend

22 days ago

A great way to spend my Black Friday. 72 degrees and not too windy. Hiking on part of the rim might be a little scary if there was wind. The igneous rock could be hard on the boots so proper footwear is recommended. There are some steep parts of the trail when entering the crater and also the rim. Lots of loose rock too. My poles came in handy. I’ll do this one again as long as it’s cool weather.

Great easy trail, clearly marked, and a fun introduction to trail/off-road driving!!!

What a wonderful hike. So worth it when you get to the vista overlooking the Coachella Valley, as far as the eyes can see.. Would definitely do again! Takes lots of water. The terrain is awesome and for occasional hikers it was challenging enough to feel a major sense of accomplishment.

off road driving
26 days ago

Fun moderate to easy trail. Great views at the top and interesting climbs through small canyons.

off road driving
1 month ago

Felt like Tatooine Sand People were going to descend at any minute. Felt like there was a high probability of a meth/ heroin encounter, which is a bit concerning based on the proximity to a BLM shooting range. (All of those celebrating their Constitutional rights today at 8 am were complete gentlemen. An armed society is a polite society). Did not see anyone intending harm, but did see hundreds of (spray) painted rocks, an abandoned refrigerator or two, lots of broken glass, car parts, mechanical parts, and just plain parts. Everywhere. Would go back, just without kids, with bear spray, and with lots more ammo.

It was a nice hike. Hard to follow the trail though as it isn’t maintained. Loved seeing the petroglyphs.

1 month ago

Well my opinion has changed - a women’s prerogative

Tough hike going up hill most of the first half and could not hike the whole loop. Able to see the Colorado river and the Thumb Butte. Next time I will start to the left on the loop hoping it's not as steep, and try to complete the loop.

1 month ago

We got a little off track at the beginning so pay attention. We went the loop clockwise. For us this hike is conveniently located and is interesting, diverse and a good overall challenge. Wear good shoes, take more water than you think and if you have this app on your phone pay attention to it so you don’t wander off like we did.

My husband and I hiked this morning, we saw only one other couple on the trail. Very beautiful and interesting rock formations. a few times we realized we were off the trail, GPS helped us back on the trail. Even though there are signs but some spots are not super clear. Took us 2hours 40 minutes
We enjoyed very much!

Great hike - take the left loop as very interesting formations and interesting terrain. Excellent views from ridge top. Very tiring for a 4 mile loop. Need to be able to do a bit of steep climbing in a few areas.

off road driving
1 month ago

i haven't been on West Phillips Drive in about 10 years. It is much more challenging now after years of getting washed out. I made it pretty easily in a mostly stock Jeep JK on 35's.

1 month ago

This is an amazing hike through what I would consider a cactus garden and although at parts you are walking basically in the streambed, it is not a difficult hike. The views are well worth going for, as well as the scenery of the Joshua trees and the other cactus plants. Parking is right off the main road so lock up all valuables.
A Virtual Treadmill video of this hike can be seen on my YouTube Channel, copy and paste link below to watch it. Thanks.

Beautiful colours at sunrise this morning, friendly coyote and very well marked trail. Great start to the day.

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