Barker Dam Nature Trail

EASY 382 reviews
#2 of 101 trails in

Barker Dam Nature Trail is a 2.4 kilometer 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
2.4 km
ELEVATION GAIN
22 m
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

bird watching

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

hiking
12 days ago

Great trail for seeing a good variety of what Joshua Tree NP has to offer. Nature and history signs along the route.

hiking
20 days ago

Hiked in early January 2019. The water level in reservoir is pretty low. That made for some interesting colors on the surrounding rocks. It was a little like tree rings in that there were obvious differing bands of color showing where various historical water levels have been.

Trail is generally easy. Beautiful scenery. Broad spectrum exposure to what makes the area unique from the botany to the geology

Look for ancient petroglyphs on some of the rocks.

24 days ago

This was a great hike for a sunset!

hiking
28 days ago

The reflection of the cliffs in the water is gorgeous. And the trees are nice towards the end.

hiking
29 days ago

Really easy trail to follow; beautiful destination

hiking
1 month ago

Short but really beautiful hike. The landscape changes a lot and a bit of rock climbing needed at certain points.

1 month ago

Easy and great scenery!

hiking
1 month ago

Great views, pretty easy trail. Got there early and there was plenty of parking, but as we were leaving the parking lot was full with multiple people waiting for spots.

1 month ago

Simple, pleasant. Beautiful views east and west from the trailhead at sunset

hiking
1 month ago

Gentle, quieter, interesting.

1 month ago

Good trail for tourists or beginners like me!

hiking
1 month ago

Nice easy trail. The Willow Trees were golden and the light was great.

hiking
2 months ago

Excellent introductory hike to Joshua Tree. Includes a small bit of fun rock scrambling. This is one of the more popular hikes and for good reason - you get a sampling of the wonderful rock formations, boulder piles, wildlife, vegetation and more that Joshua Tree NP is known for. Trail is well marked. We were lucky to see plenty of water at the dam. Great for families, newbie hikers and people short on time.

hiking
2 months ago

The Barker Dam Trail is a great introduction into the wonderful world of Joshua Tree. Seasonally there may be water at the dam and the ancient Cahuilla petroglyphs are always a treat. And if it's an exceptionally good day, there might be bighorn sheep cautiously crossing the trail!

2 months ago

Well worth the stop and very scenic.

2 months ago

We've done this hike many times during different seasons. Great short hike to the dam. We went in March, there was a small amount of water, LOTS of mosquitoes. We went early in the morning and we saw plenty of frogs as well.

hiking
2 months ago

Walked it with our three-year-old on foot and 1-year-old in a stroller. Had to stroller-carry at points, but it was manageable. Water at the dam was low and stagnant, but my wife got some great pictures of the rocks reflecting in the pool. Beautiful walk through the Joshua Trees at sunset.

2 months ago

If you’re looking for a quick easy hike, this is it. There’s an actual dam and the landscape is beautiful.

2 months ago

Super short and easy hike well worth the stop. We went at dusk and enjoyed beautiful lighting by sunset and an uncrowded trail. Nice informative placards and a cool unexpected petroglyph stop along the way as well. The dam itself is pretty cool and seeing water and lush trees in the middle of the desert was pretty awesome.

hiking
2 months ago

Really nice to see water in the middle of the desert, and so much wildlife around it! There are also a lot of rocks for climbing and on top of one of them I saw one of the most beautiful sunsets of my life.

2 months ago

A short walk with petroglyphs, easy-to-access climbing, animals, and informational plaques about the wildlife.

2 months ago

Good hike going through the rocks and culminating at the old dam (which still looks as functioning). Very nice opportunity for rock climbing along the way

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing hike and best place to visit in Joshua Tree. We really didn’t expect there to be water here but there is, an oasis in Joshua Tree! Go early to get a parking spot, later in afternoon too crowded to even get a spot!

hiking
2 months ago

Very easy hike and what a view on the water.. Great.. but so busy on Thanksgiving week-end

3 months ago

I was the first car in the parking lot and had the whole place to myself! It was beautiful and peaceful.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful easy trail. We went in late September, but even then, some blooms. The dam was almost dry, but it was nice to see cat tails in the desert just below the dam.

hiking
6 months ago

Fun to see water in such a dry place. If only there were fish...

hiking
7 months ago

A nice hike that doesn't take very long and offers some nice views of both the Joshua Trees and a lake/dam. The dam mostly dries up in summer but the area still remains greener than anywhere else in the park that I've seen and is certainly worth the hour or so that this hike takes.

8 months ago

I really enjoyed this trail. The dam was kind of shallow, but the view was nice, there was lots of scenic background and great spot for taking photos.

hiking
9 months ago

That was well worth the small detour! After a full day of walking around and being fairly dirsty, the sight of the pond/lake is very special. Small walk worth doing

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