Barker Dam Nature Trail is a 1.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Twentynine Palms, California that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

Distance: 1.3 miles Elevation Gain: 62 feet Route Type: Loop

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

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

1 hour ago

this hike was magical amazing rocks and the pond gives it an extra touch. I should came earlier to enjoyed more of this magical spot.

hiking
2 hours ago

Fun warm up and first time hike if you’ve never visited JT. If you ever get to see the dam with water it’s pretty amazing. The early morning reflections off the water is worth the short hike.

hiking
1 day ago

Easy Hike to the Dam. Water is dirty dont think you getting in. Nature is great around here and cactus during this time of year is mind blowing how beautiful it is. Hike is marked the whole way not easy to get lost. Good for all ages just make sure to have plenty of Water on you to stay hydrated.

hiking
5 days ago

this trail was a little too crowded for my taste, but a worthwhile hike nonetheless. it's pretty much totally flat and brings you past some really cool attractions including petroglyphs and a dam that looks particularly great when the water is flat enough to reflect the rocks.

hiking
9 days ago

Hands down best trial in Joshua Tree if you go when the lake is full of water. There are also petroglyphs- but it’s really all about that lake and those boulders. Nice loop

hiking
bugs
10 days ago

hiking
10 days ago

Loved this trail. My six year old easily followed along. It had a few rocky climbs but nothing too difficult. In May the dam looks gorgeous. It was low enough and hot enough to create some green algae on the shoreline. There are some shady areas to rest along the way. Cool flat boulders to climb for added interest for my son. At a slow (ungodly slow) pace we finished the loop in 90 min.

hiking
1 month ago

Apr 16th, 2020 - All of Joshua Tree National Park is closed to all visitors "until further notice", due to the pandemic.

hiking
1 month ago

Fun, easy trail. Absolutely incredible spot in the park, very unique rock formations and plant life, as well as cool pictographs. The dam and the history of the dam was very interesting too.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice, easy to follow trail. Not too challenging trail offering nice views. Unfortunately, the lake was dry during our early March visit

hiking
2 months ago

There is a lot of people walking in all directions. I went off trail and followed a dry stream off the dam water collection area that took me back to the parking lot. Some light scrambling but worth the detour to avoid just taking the trail.

hiking
2 months ago

There was water at the dam since it just snowed and rained at the beginning of the week. Great little stroll!! It’s got Joshua Tree’s only water feature, amazing boulders to climb, a stroll through a Joshua Tree field, AND petroglyphs! Love it every time.

hiking
muddy
snow
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

A fun place for families and people who are just looking for a short walk. Not as nice as many other hikes in the area.

hiking
3 months ago

We did the 1 mile Barker dam loop. takes about 45 minutes. We did it at dusk. Great way to explore a pretty part of Joshua Tree. A lot of parking at this hour.

hiking
3 months ago

Fun, quick walk through nature. The dam was cool to see and if you continue on with the full nature loop, there are petroglyphs in a little turnabout. It was a nice way to end the day. I recommend it for everyone. Older folks should be careful, though because there are several places that require a some climbing on rocks and uneven surfaces.

hiking
3 months ago

Easy family hike. Busy. Some shade on main trail. Nice views okay for smaller children. Easy

hiking
3 months ago

Very easy trail flat for the most part and there were stairs from rocks in others. Hiked in early February and there wasn’t much water in the dam or surrounding area. The water that was left was sludge and a stagnant water odor to it. The views heading toward the hieroglyphics were nice. The parking lot was super packed and to be honest so many other lovely hikes here in Joshua Tree I think it’s popular because it’s right smack in the middle.

3 months ago

Came here in early Feb. Very pretty and scenic. Easy mostly flat trail throughout. Stacks of boulders. Dam and lake were a little sad, at least at the time I came. PARKING - easy at 9am DURATION - 45 min. An hour with lots of picture taking SHADE - unshaded. BUGS - didn't have any! PHOTO - lots of good photo ops

3 months ago

Strictly OK. Dont expect wildlife unless you go very early in morning or sunset.

hiking
4 months ago

Go for sunset

recorded Barker Dam Nature Trail

hiking
no shade
4 months ago

Easy, beautiful stroll

hiking
rocky
scramble
snow
4 months ago

My husband and I along with a crew of 5 went to hike this trail. Overall, it was an easy trail with a cool view of the dam that still had water in it for us. January was a great time to go and there was still a little bit of snow/ice. Here are some points/suggestions: 1. Parking is limited. (About 20 spots) If you aren't lucky enough to get a spot, you can wait for one or park down the road and hike to the trailhead. 2. As you start the trail, you can either go left or right. If you want to just go to the dam, head right. If you head left at the fork, it will take you through the desert. We recommend you do the entire loop and stop by the petroglyphs. 3. There was a lot of people on this trail so try to go early. Also helps with parking. 4. There are some spots to scramble across rocks and some stairs so if you have knee problems, be careful but one of our group had an issue but was able to navigate. 5. This is a great hike for kids but there are NO pets allowed on any trail in the park. 6. Recommend you also do Wall Street Mill which you can start at the same trailhead and not have to move your car. Happy hiking!

hiking
4 months ago

Easy and enjoyable. Saw a rabbit!!! Sunsets here are amazing

recorded Barker Dam Nature Trail

hiking
snow
4 months ago

J’ai bien aimé ! Le barrage, les écritures sur les rochers beaux paysages. Assez achalandé. Facile.

hiking
4 months ago

IMPORTANT: The trail you see for this is not the full loop. The loop itself is 1.3mi round trip. This is an excellent introduction to Joshua Tree on an easy trail. Not only do you walk among Joshua trees, cholla cacti and other Mojave foliage for the western part of the loop, you'll also see the rocky formations to your east the park is equally famous for. That said, it's definitely not the most interesting thing in the park and wouldn't describe it as the must-see it seems to be, and is extremely crowded. In January, the dam's volume was *very* low. It is typically highest earlier in the season, and If you came specifically to see barker dam you will be terribly disappointed.

recorded Barker Dam Nature Trail

hiking
fee
no shade
scramble
4 months ago

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