Black Rock Canyon to Panorama Loop Trail

MODERATE 117 reviews
#11 of 98 trails in

Black Rock Canyon to Panorama Loop Trail is a 6.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Yucca Valley, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

6.4 miles
1,194 feet

kid friendly


horseback riding

nature trips

trail running


bird watching


wild flowers


no dogs

Joshua Trees, Pinyon Pines, Spectacular Mountain and Desert Views With a trailhead situated at about 4000 ft. elevation, the Panorama Loop Trail within the Black Rock Canyon area of Joshua Tree National Park offers some of the most interesting flora and spectacular views within all of Joshua Tree National Park. Located within the northwestern-most portion of the park, Joshua Trees are plentiful and temperatures are much cooler than in the parts further south, and the botanical and geological "surprises" to be encountered by a Black Rock Canyon hiker, to say nothing of the spectacular views of the San Gorgonio Mountains and surrounding desert terrain, make this sandy and often uphill trek very worthwhile. The trail, which begins adjacent to campsite #30 in the Black Rock Canyon Campground, is well-signed-be sure to keep your eyes open for the markers with the letters "PL" (Panorama Loop). Obtain a trail map at the Ranger Station/Visitor Center, wear sturdy shoes and gaiters, and carry plenty of water-there is NONE along the trail.

2 days ago

We enjoyed this hike very much. The desert views were spectacular. One Joshua Tree along the trail is the most perfectly shaped Joshua Tree I have ever seen. You will have at choice when you arrive at the loop split. If you choose to go to the right you will have a more gradual ascent but a very steep descent on the later part of the loop - can be tough on the knees. If you choose to go to the left, as we did, you will have a steep ascent - good cardio, but a more gradual descent. Light snow fell on us late in the hike.

Relatively easy and pretty trail. Plenty of Joshua trees with some great views of the desert and mountains once you get up on the ridge. It's roughly 2 miles to the loop, and the trail is generally wide and not steep. Once you get to the loop your can go either direction. Clockwise sends you up a steeper path with switchbacks, while counterclockwise is not as steep but longer to the top. I think the views going clockwise were nicer but you really can't go wrong, do whichever you prefer. It was pretty windy at the top so bring a coat in the winter. Plenty of water is a must at any time. Not particularly crowded on a Friday afternoon. Overall great views for not too much work.

1 month ago

Loved this hike! Great views when you’re up on the ridge. The only steep part is getting up to the ridge, which is quite short. We weren’t too bothered by the added challenge of hiking in sand. :)

1 month ago

Great trail. Well marked. Suggest going counter clockwise when u reach the last bifurcation to Warren peak. Make a left. This bifurcation is about 0.3 miles from the first loop marker. If you go clockwise it’s a little steep hike the last mile up to the top, however doable. Take plenty of water. Great views at the top.

3 months ago

Great to do something in Yucca Valley. Nice change from our usual lower desert hikes. Nice loop along a ridge line. Joshua trees everywhere! Trail mellow and easy to follow. But, fairly sandy.

4 months ago

We went clockwise on the trail because we could. Yes, it’s a little hard on the switch backs but it’s builds endurance. Great view on top
You start around 4000ft . 1150ft elevation gain to of approximately 5150 ft .

4 months ago

Great views over the ridge. Loved hiking the wash. Awesome Joshua tree forest just above the park.

4 months ago

We enjoyed the trail and it was relatively easy to follow. For the most part the ground is soft, which makes the walking slower (took us 3-1/2 hrs all in all, with stops to admire the view and have snacks) and the footing less secure on the way down after the peak (we took the anti-clockwise path). The change in vegetation is very noticeable, and on the way up there were nice shady spots. View at the top is wonderful, looking down onto Palm Springs and then the Yucca Valley.

The trail map begins at the entrance to the campground, not at campsite #30, so on your GPS you’ll appear west of the trail for the first 3/4 of a mile or so. On the way back down, take the “upper campground “ fork to arrive back at the Ranger Station

6 months ago

First time using this app - first review! A solid hike with lots of bird life and a great view midway. I read the reviews so I was looking out for signs and trail markings, not too bad. Also, right turn to take the loop counterclockwise seems like a good idea. About three hours with a break at the top, saw zero people - I’d do it again!

8 months ago

This was a beautiful hike, saw lots of lizards, road runners, jack rabbits and almost stepped on a beautiful snake (no, I’m not scared of snakes and God’s creations are all beautiful in their own way) so that got the morning started off well. Jeff had read on another review to hike the loop going counter wasn’t until our hike DOWN that I understood why. If we would have hiked going clockwise we may have still been out there trying to finish. It would have been uphill most of the way. Don’t go left...go right...go counter clockwise. Plus take plenty of water and start early in the morning. The reason it’s not getting 5 stars is because the trail wasn’t marked very well. For as popular as it claims to be, there needs to be good, straightforward signs letting the hikers know if they are going the correct way. Also, there wasn’t any warning about the little chat/gravel you have to walk in. May sound picky on my part but still, a little heads up would have been welcomed. Would I recommend this hike? YES...but remember go counter clockwise and have fun. Oh and don’t forget to watch where you are stepping

8 months ago

Great trail. We did this in June and the weather was very hot. Just make sure to bring a hat and lots of water with you. Sunscreen and sunglasses are also necessary since there's hardly any shade. It's all well worth the beautiful view at the top! Also make sure to not get lost, we went on the wrong turn on our way back and added an extra mile to it lol grab a map from the camping services center or just keep an eye out on your phone for directions!

8 months ago

Great trail ... amazing views ... looking forward to walking it again ...

9 months ago

Great walk. really enjoyed it! take plenty of water...

10 months ago

Fun little lasso trail. Be careful with the narrow/slippery trails while climbing in elevation during the loop portion.

10 months ago

We did this trail on our first day in Yucca Valley. We started out following the black canyon trail (that is very flat), and decided to add the panorama loop. If you start the loop to the left, you will have a steeper elevation trail than if you start the loop to the right. We started to the left, and we reached the highest point early on in the loop, so the rest of the loop was somewhat boring in comparison (why I rated 4 stars). Next time, I’d start the loop to the right.

11 months ago

I did this trail on a cool winter day and it was delightful. I would not attempt it on a hot and sunny day, as it offers little shade (like all hikes in JT). The scenery and views are incredible. There are more trees and wildlife here than in other parts of the park.

11 months ago

Nice easy trail. Spectacular view at the top.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Excellent trail with gorgeous views. Take it clockwise for a more strenuous walk up and a lovely view down the valley on the way down.

Monday, January 15, 2018

This trail is on the easier side of moderate if you go with people who have at least some hiking experience.

This hike was enjoyable in January and I thought to myself I would not want to do this during summer.

Lots of Joshua trees and some cacti along the trail. The first part of the trail before the loop is pretty flat and most of the elevation gain is when you start the loop. While this is called a loop trail, it is more like a lasso, with the loop only being at the very end. The top of the loop/lasso is a great place to break for lunch.

This is a great hike if you are camping at Black Rock Canyon Campground since the Trailhead starts from here.

Bring plenty of water for this hike and plan for it to take you 3-3.5 hours depending on your pace. Faster if you are trail running instead of hiking.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Beautiful views on the elevations, nice trails. Very few people on trail when i started out in AM, but was becoming a bit busy as i got back to trailhead mid day.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Beautiful views from some of the higher points! It’s a nice and easy hike, just be sure to bring plenty of water.

Friday, December 22, 2017

The sand, wind and cold were the challenge, but the views were breathtaking! Great hike.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Thousand and thousands of lady bugs and butterflies!!! Worth the walk! Take lots of water!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

one of best sunset views one can find.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Beautiful hike! I've done it several time now and every time it gets more and more beautiful. Sunset or sunrise are amazing up there! Plan to get to the top at least 30-45 mins before the sunset/sunrise time and watch the beauty from the ridge of the mountain to see the entire sky around you on both sides. Watch out for rattle snakes, heard one in a bush one time. Stay calm and keep walking and you should be fine. If you go clockwise on the loop you will have a steeper climb but you will get to the ridge faster, choose counterclockwise if you want to work on your uphill endurance!

Monday, March 20, 2017

We had a fantastic hike today and saw a lot of flower buds! Should be blooming in the next few days!!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

well named. 1st mile is flat and is great thereafter. plan to spend some time atop

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Loved that we got to hike in Joshua Tree National park for free without all the people. This hike starts from the Black Rock Canyon campground on the west side of the park. It was easy to find. The rewards are always the views from the top. Well named as Panorama Loop.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Great hike. Do the loop counter-clockwise (take the right fork) and the uphill portion is more gradual. Terrific changes in scenery, landforms and views.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

It was a good hike. Definitely not easy. Alot of uphill hiking. Very beautiful trail.

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