Boy Scout Trail To Willow Hole Extended Route

MODERATE 112 reviews
#17 of 114 trails in

Boy Scout Trail To Willow Hole Extended Route is a 17.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Twentynine Palms, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 17.6 miles Elevation Gain: 1,656 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Great views on a moderate desert hike. This is an excellent choice for a fall/winter running or walking trail. Beautiful views of the Mojave desert landscape. The trail moves from open desert through washes, single-track hills and bajadas... and is very well marked (but pay attention). Trail runners should be prepared for packed sand, some very minor technical moves over rocks/boulders AND areas with very sandy/rocky washes. It is the desert so make sure you have sufficient water. Even on a beautiful 70 degree day the dry heat and relentless sun can really pull your energy. There is little to no shade.

Nice rocks and small canyons.

hiking
7 months ago

My husband and I only went out a couple of miles, and then turned back. It was flat a couple miles out, and we passed a relatively small rock formation, that had a trail going to it, and we were able to climb it easily to get a nice view. There were tons of desert hares, birds, and we saw a desert tortoise! The wildflowers were divine! We were there in early May.

camping
no shade
8 months ago

running
no shade
rocky
8 months ago

This trail is great for running, hiking, or backpackers. The trail consists mostly of wide hard packed gravel/sand that’s relatively flat. There are a couple sections where the trail enters a wash and it’s that loose sand that’s hard to move in. There is one big climb at about mile 2.5 but after that, the last 5.5 miles of the trail are wide open flat sections.

hiking
no shade
rocky
9 months ago

We went to big pine trail and back. We camped over night about 2.7 miles in as we started late Saturday afternoon and it got dark. This is a beautiful hike and was a good gear test and training backpack.

hiking
washed out
9 months ago

Snow Creek to the PCT. Several places the rain washed out the trail. it is still passable.

hiking
Sun Dec 09 2018

Well maintained trail ,be ready to hike 4 miles to see few but awesome Joshua trees

backpacking
Tue Oct 16 2018

Fun overnighter camping out with the Cougars..

Sat May 12 2018

Bring lots of water

backpacking
Fri Apr 27 2018

Incredible and easy. Terrain changes from open and flat to Boulders and rock formations.

backpacking
Fri Mar 09 2018

A fantastic overnighter (Indian Cove-Willow Hole-back). One of the better trails for a moderate backpack trip in JT and nice for a solo excursion. All the uphill is near the beginning at Indian Cove, followed by cathedrals of rock formations. Going in ~5 miles to camp in the rocks is nice, then ~13 miles to Willow Hole and back. Tips: Camping is only on the west side of the Boy Scout trail and not allowed on the Willow Hole trail. There's a lot of sandy washes so gaiters might be good. Midweek is nice and quiet. Take sun protection seriously and pack lots of water! That's standard fare for JT but being 6+ miles from anything means "for reals."

Wed Feb 21 2018

Beautiful!! Slightly uphill the whole way but awesome view everywhere — I ran 1 hour in but next time I’d like to run 1:20 in so pretty!!

running
Fri Feb 09 2018

Trail is well marked, as well as unremarkable. Wash running uphill with a few rocks here and there. Found dirty water at willow hole. Cool rock formations once there. This would be an awesome trail to do right after a big rain, as the majority of it is in a wash.

backpacking
Sun Apr 30 2017

The Willow Hole Trail was "day use only", which I wasn't aware of when planning this trip. I found a great place to camp off of the Boy Scout Trail instead.

backpacking
Mon Mar 13 2017

What a fun, easy backpack trip. It's popular from the parking lot to the Willow Hole, but after that, you have it to yourself. Wildflowers were just starting when I did it 2/10/2017, but should be peaking in Mid March. Trail is clear and there are abundant opportunities to climb on rocks. The trail from the Willow Hole to the Indian Cove Trailhead is absolutely breathtaking. Do watch the water thing, but's that's Joshua Tree, isn't it. At one day, at least I didn't have to carry too much.

backpacking
Fri Jun 03 2016

This is my favorite trail in Joshua Tree so far. It isn't overly strenuous and the views are awesome. When I think back to everything I did there, I always remember this hike first. There are plenty of cool places to wander off the main trail to make yourself a hidden camp for the night among the various rock outcroppings. Be sure to bring a headlamp and plenty of battery power for your camera so you can wander about at sunset taking pictures and enjoying the night sky. This was a wonderful hike, I would gladly do it again.

hiking
Wed Mar 23 2016

It was nice. We just Hiked it down to big pine trail then back. Good little elevation change over one area. Sandy washed made it a little tiering tho.

Sun Mar 06 2016

Awesome trail. Loved the scenery. One of the better trails Joshua Tree has to offer. I would take it from south to north. That actually takes you down hill.

Sun Jan 31 2016

Long hike with some fun in the middle.

hiking
Sat Oct 24 2015

Depending on what way you go. I did the Keys to Indian Cove route. At about a mile or a half in you get to a bit of hiking up. Great views when you get to the top of the pass. The second half of the journey is generally flat and passes a lot of bolder piles that are fun to climb. Not a lot of sun relief out here. You walk through a lot of soft sand. Took about 4 hours.

hiking
Tue Jul 07 2015

A fast, fun stroll through a wonderland of stone and pointy plants. We camped mid-way, and were caught in the midnight winds freezing their way down from an icy Gorgonio. Take everything you *might* need to be comfy.

hiking
Sun Jan 04 2015

Great walk, if you like the desert. I must say that it has been Joshua Tree that has given me a love for the desert.

Tue Nov 11 2014

We just did one way, as we live in the area and were able to arrange drop off and pick up. Start at the Joshua Tree end and finish near Indian Cove for the easiest hike, it is uphill going the other way through some pretty tough territory....moderate, i think they call it. The woman that we passed on our way down didn't look as though she was thinking moderate in her endeavors! it is beautiful, and didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would. It is well marked and well travelled, we met a number of different hikers all along the way. Remember that this is a desert hike, so starting early and preferrably in the spring or fall is the way to go. There is one section that is a straight down hill walk, very steep, I did not realize how difficult walking down hill could be on your hips and thighs. There is a wash that is soft sand, which is also a little difficult. The views are amazing and it is a good beginners hike.

running
Tue Jul 29 2014

The downside to this hike is that you basically hike from one road to another and at either end there is no shade or bench, just a dirt parking area. The hike itself is beautiful and the heat in July is wonderful. I would do it again though as there aren't many hikes here in the 12 - 16 mile range.

running
Thu Nov 29 2012

Excellent fall/winter running trail with beautiful views of the Mojave desert landscape. The trail moves from open desert through washes, single-track hills and bajadas... and is very well marked (but pay attention). Trail runners should be prepared for packed sand, some very minor technical moves over rocks/boulders AND areas with very sandy/rocky washes. I kicked more than a few rocks in the washes and was glad I had good toe box coverage. It also reminded me to pick up my dang feet. It is the desert so make sure you have sufficient water. Even on a beautiful 70 day the dry heat and relentless sun can really pull your energy. There is little to no shade. I ran in the morning from the southern park trailhead to Indian Cove and back. My GPS tracked just over 16 miles in approximately 3.5 hours (I did stop to take pictures and rest on occasion).

hiking
Mon Nov 01 2010

Great trail takes you thru washes, canyons and amazing rock groupings. Gains a 1000 feet, mostly flat in desert with a few switch backs. Well marked trail and start early.

hiking
9 days ago

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