Arch Rock Nature Trail

EASY 86 reviews
#5 of 89 trails in

Arch Rock Nature Trail is a 0.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Desert Center, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November.

0.5 miles
22 feet
Out & Back

kid friendly




nature trips

trail running



wild flowers



no dogs

One of the rock formations popular with the young crowd at Joshua Tree National Park. Open all year to all skill levels.

1 day ago

A short and easy hike through some interesting rock formations and vegetation. The informational signs in the area are pretty neat. There’s fun to be had scrambling around the rocks.

The trail isn’t really labeled until you get up close, but it’s in the White Tank campground.

Definitely more “touristy” due to the short length and ease of the hike, but still fun to see. Would recommend doing this either earlier or later in the day to beat or follow the crowds as there is sometimes some congestion around Arch Rock.

1 day ago

short trail but hike around the arch for more views

13 days ago

Short hike but cool photo opportunity with the arch. If you feel adventurous there are rocks to scramble around. It’s a good hike to end the day.

18 days ago

Short easy hike with some opportunity for some cool easy rock climbing.

21 days ago

Short and sweet hike to a nice arch Rock! be early since parking is very limited

22 days ago

easy but dank

24 days ago

Lots of scrambling on rocks. Hard to find but keep looking and you’ll get there. This is also a camp site. Beautiful rock formations. Pictures don’t do it justice. Easy to get caught up and get lost.... but easy also easy to find your way back

1 month ago

Fun rocks to climb around on!

2 months ago

It’s more of a walk than a hike, but the views are so beautiful.

rock climbing
2 months ago

A short walk rather than a real hike out from the parking area to an impressive group of rock formations. Lots of signs explaining the geological origins. We had a lot of fun climbing the boulders. This was pretty busy with visitors on New Year’s Day.

2 months ago

Great opportunity for kids to climb. Right next to campgrounds.

3 months ago

Fun, short hike with some easy bouldering opportunities.

3 months ago

Nice short hike. Great for kids!

3 months ago

Can get really crowded but a beautiful short hike with some fun rock scrambling.

3 months ago

Quick and easy hike with great camping spots nearby.

6 months ago

Cons - No real defined trail. Wander around from sign to sign means a lot of people have created false paths.
Pros - Views are spectacular - I recommend go at dusk - sun setting creates awesome photos. It's a big park!

6 months ago

Nestled inside the White Tank campgrounds.

The walk to the arch is short, but there are information plaques along the way detailing rock formations and geology. Fun to learn about the place.

The trail continues beyond Arch Rock, but I chose to not do serious hiking in the heat of summer. I don't think the trail loops around.

7 months ago

Even though it's a very short walk, the rock formation is very cool and scenic especially at dusk

7 months ago

I loved this little hike. I didn't stay on trail because boulder was better. Lots of bees at arch.

8 months ago

9 months ago

Easy Trail! Minutes away from campground.

10 months ago

Trail was a bit hard to follow. Rocks all around were great for kids to climb on but we had trouble finding trail back and so did others around us. Have to note that trail is out and in and not a loop like you would expect

trail running
Friday, February 10, 2017

Easy with steps, beautiful rock formations

Sunday, January 22, 2017

This is an easy short walk that starts at the White Tank Campground. It offers great views of various rock formations and as advertised, of the only naturally occurring arch in the park.

Best of all, this is the only nature trail in the park that I know focuses on the rock formations and gives passers-by an idea of how the rocks were formed, including explanations of such things as 'cavernous weathering.' All the other informative guides on the trails point out various plants and how they were/are used by indigenous people.

Keep your eyes open for the trail guide posts ... there are often points where a guide post should be but isn't, and it's easy to get lost on this trail.

I would rank this trail at four stars except that it is just too short -- I wanted more geology!

Sunday, January 08, 2017

This is a shorter hike thru beautiful rock formations and desert. We did this trail in December, during a period where the park was having unprecedented levels of visitation, so it was packed.

The trail begins at a campground and vault toilets are available. Hikers with bee allergies should be careful depending on the time of year and water conditions. Apparently bees have been known to swarm in search of water.

The hike itself is nice and informative, but not marked the best. However it's so short that it's difficult to get lost. The various detours are cool thou. We encountered a rock that looked like the one from Indiana Jones.

I might suggest bringing gloves for those intending to climb Arch Rock, but otherwise it was not difficult at all.

Overall a decent stop.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Super easy hike, but the landscape is simply from another world.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Easy walk with cool rock formations that are good for jumping on.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Monday, March 07, 2016

Great hike. Unbelievable view. The stars are amazing. It was a little sketch hiking in the dark, but completely worth it.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I think I was the only " tourist" who was looking for this rock formation. The only difficulty is finding it since it's only walking distance from a nearby parking curb. I also suggest exploring the other rock formations around the area

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